"A word on the spot is worth a cartload of recollections"
James Maggs, Southwold diarist 1797-1890

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Failure once again

We'd thrown off our sloth by the time we'd slogged up the hill to the base of the ice for Rubben (400m WI5+). After the mild temperatures over the last 2 days I'd expected the ice to be wet but the air was cooler higher up and the ice was perfect: dry, and it took our axes easily. Nick led the first grade 3 pitch then I climbed easier ground to the base of a tall grade 4 section. All pleasant climbing during which the clouds parted and the sun lit up the valley. More easy climbing led up to the "main event": a vertical pillar. Nick went up to have a look, but straight away shouted down that it was no go. Fluted ice, quite cruddy, the pillar cracked through completely, and very tenuous moves to gain its front.

Four abseils later we were back at our packs, then bum slides took us most of the way to the valley bottom.

We were back in the cabin in good time for tea and a sauna before I start to prep a Thai green chicken curry.

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