Friday, 12 March 2010

The Somme - best day of the winter yet?

The Somme is one of those routes with a bit of a reputation! So when friends Jamie and Jamie suggested getting on it I thought OK - but your lead guys! We walked in early to find great conditions and amazing weather. I fired off the first ice pitch a gentle grade 3 and a good warm up for what was to come. The Jamies had a hard pitch each - the first of these was steep and technical using a variety of techniques on ice, turf and rock. The second gives the meat of the route - 40 m of sustained but steady thin ice which is very bold - I was nervous just watching Jamie climb it. He definitely deserved his beer that evening. It was a good route to break in my new Black Diamond Cyborg crampons on! Topping out we were greeted with warm sunshine and amazing views across North Wales and beyond. We really have been spoiled this winter... lets hope next year is just as good.

Rory on the initial grade 3 ice pitch

Jamie high on the bold 3rd pitch - amazing ice but scarily bold!

Fully psyched after seconding the 3rd pitch

The Glyders and Snowdon from the top

Walking off over Carnedd Dafydd