Jan 31, 2012

More Scottish winter ascents

 Two more days, two more routes
With a window of 40 min we headed up with the ski lift to Anoach Mor today for some winter sport cragging on the east face.

In the total white out we rapped down the central buttress and climbed a variation of Tunnel Vision, before descending back down the ski slopes.
But, Yesterday we had a as close to perfect as possible day on le Ben
Point 5 Gully is the buttress to the right of the central pillar

The mega classic Point 5 Gully showed up to be in almost perfect Conditions except a few Italians occupying the lower bit of the Gully. But as it was Mikaels 3rd try, never had the weather to even get to the base before but always hoping. This was the day for getting spinndrifted and face peeled! After a 2 1/2 hours approach we stood under the first ice steep. A not to steep ice step before it gets vertical on the most righthand side and the upper tunnels.
After some final step snow plodding we stod at the base of climb. Warm winds and even a sunny spell on the lower mountains. Still though with the summit well hiding in the clouds. Time to go!

The first bit went flying upphill but after a 10mts on the vertical stuff the ice changed quality and gave me some bigger thoughts like "to hold or not to hold" But with an other team still struggling on the lower angle part there wasnt any other option than to breed in the spinndrift, fight the cold hands and keep those axes moving up.

 Arriving at the stand there was two options, tie in some screws on the side and hang around or make a couple of fast moves passing the next euro crisis and the ex Berlosconi's... Well, after a half second thinking I choose the first. Put on my hood and brought up Mikael, hooded up as well.
The point 5 isnt just a classic climb, its a beatiful route that just keeps on going cutting up in the center of Ben. And topping out at the highest point. With out even treating the climbers with a big fearful overhanging cornice!
The seven pitches passes a little to fast, getting much easier after the first 3 ones. The angle easies out and the gully gets wider. Passing time!
Arriving at the summit I can even see the old weather observatory, now and then at least. Which still was in use until the beginning of this Century but is just a emergency shelter now days.
After a quick drinck of almost hot tea, we hit the compass course of 285degress grid and heads down the path (Built to the cost of £793.6s.3d)...by the way
The movie!

 /Slàn leat!

Jan 29, 2012

Scottish Winter or When the Gully didn't get Vanished

Finally, at the place for true winter climbing and the center of mixed climbing, Scotland!
After some hours driving with small roads, traffic on the wrong side and with a car that someone has had the pure fun of placing all the things in the wrong places. Like the gear box, windscreen adjustment and even the steering wheel. I mean, c'mon, why?!

The country side driving is really beautiful though with its small villages and its houses

 Arriving at Fort Williams the most famous of them all is just around the corner, Big Ben Nevis!
A typical winter day at Ben Nevis, only that today it was visual 

 After making some big plans, which we decided to be quite small with one or two easy climbs on the Douglas Boulder. Easy accessed behind the CIC hut. A full 1 hour walk or 1 1/2 from the North Face parking lot.
Today's first boulder

But as so many times before, planning is one thing. After a first glance on the objective and then talking to some locals my mind started wondering.
The "Vanishing Gully" is supposed to be a great climb but isnt in at the moment...well maybe maybe...!
 A glance up the hill and maybe the man is right, but maybe not. And how hard could it be, a scottish V 5 And it has 3*** so well worth the extra 5 min walk.

Mikael getting ready to feed out some rope

 Time to let the Monsters X's out of the bag and as often they are a bit to keen so 2 meter sent me 3 meters back down the slope, ha! Up again a little more less weight on the X's and we where going.
Great mixed climbing at its best, thin ice, compact rock so not so much pro. Just focus on climbing.
After 50mts of focusing and three good points on the rope I had a perfect belay and could bring Mikael up.

Belay under the vertical steep.

Next pitch had everything, ice, rock, wet dripping water, well water tend to be wet I know, and spinndrift. And I could even put in some good pro on the way.
Three more pitches and we found our selfs under the summit of Ben, on a rock ridge just made for descent
 Mikael Angberg swinging the axes...
The Vanishing Gully V 5 *** is 100 t.r of the Douglas West Gap Gully, look for a small ice fall that gets vertical 200mts of great climbing
Time to get down for a decent cup of coffey and maybe even a beer, and find out some plans for "demain"
With some strong winds gail'ing outside who knows what wind slaps that tomorrow will bring

But who said that Scotland dosnt have any good weather? Just need to keep up with the sun, which always tend to be on the other side...

Jan 25, 2012

Repentance Super Val de Cogne

 Warm days, long hot nights...well today I felt like I had warm wet bandage. With out the warm part, just a bit shivering. Going showering in the fields of vertical ice, now and then more water then ice almost...!

Val de Cogne has a lot of great ice climbing, but sorry to say a lot of climbers as well. But I guess that the good coffee makes that even, togheter with the unbelievable carte de wine's.
So, a double espresso for a euro twenty, as long as the currency last, and off we were for the goal of the day, the classic REPENTANCE, WI6. Or more a WI5 but still a great climb!

And not overcrowded either, and the shower is included folks, just bring the shampoo!
Otherwise it will be as for us, a smell of wet suit in the car on the return
Taking off from the ice cave

But, its a beautiful climb! A thing I really like with ice routes at this level, the formations is just something!
 Magnus fighting up the shower, hairless
 The walk in, a little more then 1 1/2h is well worth the effort, as usually the longer the walk, the less people, the better the climb. And with the amount of snow in this area its not bad at all.

 Well, there is nothing as a good anchor is there...?!
 Bonne descente and don´t miss to bring the parapluie

Jan 23, 2012

Offerdal an glace

Approaching the ice routes in Rise, Offerdal

In just a small area there are some really nice and a big load of different routes, mixed, ice and dry ones
Even though there isnt any multi pitching some of them are close to 50. The local climbing club in Östersund are up to putting a new topo over the areas but there is already useful info on their website. http://www.ostersundskk.se/is/
Mixed up in "Smulberget" an M5 route

Oscar fighting his way up the frozen water, which it was plenty of...
Changing routes and I had Jan Fighting his way up
 Not to bad for a beginner I must say
Swedish winter conditions
 With its short days...
Eric sundberg with his new Grivels, to easy!
 head lamp skiing in Almåsa, bonne conditions la neige
Swedish winter folks, skiing in Vemdalen between choping the ice off

 Next stop Cogne...

Jan 18, 2012

Jemtlands puder

 Efter en längre period med snö som övergått till snygg väder och strålande sol i perfekt temperatur så visade Jemtland slutligen sin hårdare sida. -3C och lite lätt regn. Själva grunden för fostrande skidföre!
Bara bilresan ut är magisk nog 

Så inte mycket annat att ta sig för när solen åter kommer tillbaka än att ge sig ut på regelrätt fjälltur och en klassiker, Västfjället. Ett fjäll som tidvis bjuder på fina behagliga sluttningar och aktiv skogs skidåkning.
Västfjällets granne, Drommen, en dag i Januari...

Dessutom på behagligt avstånd från Östersund via färja eller den stundande isvägen. 45min till 1h beroende på vägval. Bara att få rulla ombord och åka lite bilskattad färja är ju värt resan liksom... Klassiska Mårdsjörännan mellan Sällsjö- och Västerfjället är i nog ett av de finare åken här i kring anser jag. Ofta har det har blåst in snö som ligger relativt mjukt och fint även långt efter snöfall. Väl på plats så finns det ett par olika alternativ på åkning runt Bydalsfjällen Och det fina är att fotmassage är inkluderat:-)
Det omtalade Jemtlandspudret äntligen fångat på bild!

Idag blev målet Västerfjället och sen topp 1140, tre fina åk på behagligt avstånd
An route

Inte den enda som letar "the white magic" en dag som denna
Hitta hit. Från Östersund Korsa Vallsundsbron och kör mot Hallen, kortaste sträckan går via färje- alternativt isvägen över Norderön. Och mot Hallen och Bydalen. Några kilometer efter Hallen går avtagsväg mot Mårdsundbodarna. Är Mårdsundrännan målet så sväng av här. Annars kan man fortsätta och svänga av t.h på en skogsbilväg strax efter Mårdsbodarna. Från Hallen till Bydalen är det 20km

Nåja, det är riktigt fluff som Flyter upp över brättena in emellan också...

Kvälls åkning i Almåsabacken...i pannlampans sken. Almis har allt,pudder, bastu och bar!

Sannare än sanning; Jemtland, det härdar!

Jan 9, 2012

Cascade du Chavannes

The cascades above Megeve are not the easiest ones to get to, cause of a quite long approach. But on the other hand they dont just offer some good climbing, it gives some good offpist and tree skiing as well
Also some roof skiing if no one is home ;-)

Time to go?!

Cascade Chavannes, belle escalade

Yes, time for descent!

Not sure where these guys where going though. Classic lycra on le monsieur...

Du centre de Megève (rond point), prendre direction Rochebrune, touit droite le village et aller au bout de la route goudronnée au hameau Le Letaz et le Parking. Suivre la route forestière (rive droite) puis rive gauche, après le chalet de La Tête, prendre un chemin sur la gauche jusqu'au chalet des Chavannes (1691m)Compter 1 heure d'approche en ski

/Bonne accent

Jan 7, 2012

900 Pow Pow

Looks like the Big Snow God has placed a snow canon over the Alps
An other powder day in the mountains but amazing enough the snow pack feels quite stable!
Today we brought our skins up to the south side of the beatiful Mont Jolly with a 900 meter descent down to Le Contamine
Anna trying the snowdept
Anna during a sharp test of the snow depth today...

The touring around Contamine is only reduced by how fare and how many meters you want do fill
With the right mind there is loads of tours, from easy to ++hard
But, in the world of "earning your turns" it's all there...

After a quick glance at the queue it was easy to change the mind, why stand 5 min in a row when the skinning possibility is just around the corner

An route de Plan de Crets

The best track up this side is via some small chalets and through "the Santa Claus trees" before arriving on the summit ridge over looking the ski area
Time for a quick cup of tea before the descent
Some of use making it more cosy then others

Into the magic..the next step begins
And tomorrow the weather forecast show more of the white stuffLooking out through the window I believe themSnow map showing the situation. Red dots means 70cm or more of snow for the next 6hours ending 1p.m Sunday 07.

/Ski safe