Thursday, 20 March 2014

Claire Chazal

Firm snow and ice steps made the first section of the route pretty quick!
Sadly I once again didn't top out another route.... This time it was Claire Chazal on the Grands Montets ridge. I wouldn't have blogged about this but I think the lesson that I learned will be useful for other people! Basically: take bigger cams than you think for granite mixed climbing!

Dave heading up mixed ground on Claire Chazal.
Pretty happy to be back mixed climbing at last!
Having climbed most of the way up the crux pitch, I realised that our wild country size 2.5 cam, was nowhere near big enough for either of the cracks that protect the last section. Looking down, my last (and only) bit of gear seemed a very long way away. I wasn't completely certain I could climb the last few metres without barndoor-ing off and didn't fancy the 20+ metre fall that would come with it. Somehow I managed to downclimb the icy groove that I had been quite proud of climbing up! Dave wasn't too enamoured with the pitch either so we decided to abseil back down to the bags. Waiting for us at the bottom were our bigger cams, which we had chosen to leave behind. Ooops!
Heading up towards the thin icy groove, thanks Dave for the photos and patient belaying!

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