The main pillar on the left was the obvious line, but even in the -6 degree air, it was dripping big time. So I started off up the right hand line. The moral of today, is don't climb south facing climbs - the sun had baked the ice and the recent weather has caused lots of chandeliering. The ice that was good was super hard and quite shattery. So I bailed after thirty metres when I couldn't safely move across to the left to get on the main line again.
Oblivious to the horrors ahead
As the pitch had to be stripped of the ice screws, I set up a super-abalakov (by luck it was a full 22cm deep) and James top roped it. While it was set up, I had a play on the even worse ice to the left. When you lead you just don't know how close to the limit you are in terms of ice holding your weight as you tend to err on the side of caution. With the top rope in place I thrashed and smashed my way up it - and it all held.
Ideal ice is not like this
So not a great day in terms of climbing, but useful as another exercise in building experience of dodgy ice. It may come back into condition if we have some cold and cloudy days - I hope so, its very convenient.
We then went to the supermarket, twice. One big shop, and then again under the pretence of forgetting a vital ingredient for the chilli, only for James to reappear with yet more beer.