There was a lot of umming and arghing about how safe it would be after the recent weather, and from across the valley we spotted a mighty crack running through the top pillar. It looked though that there were in fact two pillars, the right hand one looking more likely and without a crack, so we decided to walk in for a closer inspection. The climb had definitely suffered and required some excavation for decent screws, but all in all it wasn't too bad.
I chose an easier line up the first pitch, having already climbed a harder variant, and from there it was straightforward ice until the final pitch, which saw me leave a damp cave (which led to much grumpiness from James) for a long and lonely lead, weaving my way up the final steepenings - a cracking pitch (which I think I enjoyed a lot more than James due to the aforementioned grumps). In the pitches below I had already spotted some significant cracks which looked some days old, and James reported that there was a loud crack when he was in the cave. This may all sound pretty alarming, but despite common misconceptions, I am actually pretty conservative when it comes to safety and I was confident the climb was sound. That said, with the deteriorating ice, we decided to try to walk off. Mistake. An hour later we were back at the top of the climb ready to abseil down it. I doubled up on every abalakov (safety first, people!).
I have a love-hate relationship with this climb because, what should happen on the walk down? again. My bloody crampon broke. This time the main connecting bar. WTF people, WTF? Much cursing ensued.
In a bid to avoid a 5hr round trip driving to Fagernes to get a replacement, I have have cunningly fashioned the below:
Yes, you see that correctly - I have tied my crampons together with string. Not a bit of gaffer tape in sight. All in time to attempt what may be my hardest climb yet, Hydnesfossen tomorrow. Will this backfire? Well, a poor workman blames his tools, but what if those tools are broken? We shall see.
Hydnesfossen may be our last climb of the trip - the whole area is getting a pasting - terminal melt has definitely set it.
|A few tonnes of liquid nitrogen and it's good to go|
Now for a far more interesting picture. Willow, in attack pose:
|Hold me back mummy, I have had enough of these paparazzi|