Another great weekend for ice climbing and another hard frost last night set us up for a brilliant day today. Cathy and I were keen on a big classic ice climb today to make the most of the great weather so we walked up to the CIC Hut. There was already one team at the foot of Orion Direct and two more teams at the hut going that way. So we went up Observatory Gully and had the pick of the climbs. We went for Point Five Gully because it looked mega fat and there was nearly no spindrift coming down.
The crux today was in the chimney pitch (pitch 2) which is so full of ice that it has got a bit steeper than I've seen it before. By throwing some shapes and doing some fun bridging I managed to keep off my arms but my legs are really quite long and Cathy was not able to do the same. The Rogue pitch is a breeze and the rest of the climb is very simple. What a treat to have the climb to ourselves on a great day in great condition.
Orion Direct was very popular today as well as NE Buttress. Minus Three and Minus Two Gullies were climbed, Hadrian's Wall Direct and Observatory Buttress too. More mixed weather this week and a warmer day on Thursday will hopefully build more ice when it freezes afterwards. More days like today would be very nice for Cathy and us all to enjoy more classic ice climbs.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.