Sunday, November 18, 2007

First ice of the season

First ice of the winter

Did the first ice routes of the season on Saturday at the old faithful Kauhala, where the ice seems to always form first and melt last. It was very thin and slightly slushy still but enough to gently tiptoe and tap up on a top rope.

Warning! Thin Ice

We did a couple of lines, including one nicknamed the "Headless Fall" where a distinct flow of ice springs from a horizontal crack a metre or so below the top of the crag. It's a fun and slightly bizarre move as you get your tools in the top of the ice and then try to mantle them in some way allowing you to span past the blank rock and placement over the top. I found a rather thin torque out in the crack which helped with that, and allowed me to work my front points high enough so that with the other tool I could just reach and get a stick in the frozen moss on the top of the cliff. All good fun on a top rope, but currently unleadable unless you fancy soloing moves as tenuous as that 15 or so metres up!

Little Toni tiptoes up a very skinny "Headless Fall"

I was meant to go out again this morning, but having been out helping last night to celebrate the Christening of my godson on Saturday afternoon, my physical state wasn't quite up for the necessary early start. Toni and Jody went to Nuuksionpää and reported good ice, although everything was beginning to drip as a warm front moved it. The temperature is still above freezing even now its dark, and it looks like the thaw will carry on this week, so it was good to get out whilst it lasted.

Water flowing behind the ice.

No comments: