The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

The Sorcerer, Ghost Valley

Monday, 21 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New year!

Sorry it's a little belated.....I've had a few problems with logging into site, which has been very frustrating to say the least! Hence the lack of posts over the past few weeks.

Anyway, over in the Alps Icefall climbing at the moment - had a great day today climbing 'Pingu' a steep 5 pitch route in Kandersteg on the Oeschinen Wall just above the village.

'Pingu' grade 5+, 180m - Kandersteg

The Alps was going through a very warm period leading into the week when I arrived from the UK. Up until that point, Kandersteg being relatively low (around 1100m altitude) didn't have any ice formed at all. A week of colder weather & the routes are starting to take shape.

Pingu today was 'all there' climbing thin & fragile newly formed ice, which made the route steeper & more technical than maybe later in the reason when the routes filled out a little more.

A thin & newly formed 'Arbonium' not quite touching down & formed enough in the lower section to climb yet.

The temperatures in Kandersteg are for it to stay cold all week & routes like Arbonium will continue to fill out & form as we go through the week.

'Rattenpisoir' grade 5, 160m - Kandersteg

All the routes here are thinner than normal as the ice has all formed during the past week, even so 'Rattenpisoir' was climbed today. The route looks in similar condition to 'Pingu' which we climbed. It's been cold & the ice feels well bonded & with a little care these routes offer some great climbing.

Grimm Haizahne grade 5+, 160m - Kandersteg
The first pitch is thin grade 4/4+, but the upper pitches (on the upper wall, top right of picture) look disconnected & unformed still.

The upper pitches of Namelos grade 4/4+ - Kandersteg

We climbed 'Namelos' yesterday, it's a little further up the track but all fully formed but just a little thin in places. It was a warmer day yesterday & the ice was wet. Today it would have been better bonded to the rock & in great condition if not still a little thin & fragile in places.........

Namelos grade 4/4+, 180m - Kandersteg

The upper steep pitches of 'Pingu' today

Colin pulling around onto the belay at the top of the 4th pitch on 'Pingu' today.
You can just see down & left the steep pillar which is the 2nd pitch of 'Rattenpisoir'

'Blue Magic' grade 5+ also looks complete, but I guess just a little thin....we'll check it out later in the week & let you know how we get on.

Well I hope that helps, if you're thinking of heading over this way & brings you a little up to date with what I've been doing.

I've also been over in Cogne, Chamonix & Megeve climbing & will let you know what the conditions there are like when I next log on.

Very happy to have sorted my logging on issues & feel connected again!

Anyway take care on the ice & stay safe

Ade


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