Thursday, 26 February 2009

It did not quite all go to plan

The plan was to climb the Boivin route (ED1 or VI, WI5+ M6) on Dome de Niege des Ecrins 4015. Its an impressive North/NW face, kind of cool. If it would be located in Chamonix it would be one of the "must" do routes for any aspiring alpinist. How ever the Ecrins is not Chamonix so you need to do quite an approach in order to reach the bottom of the wall. The approach from the winter parking is about 7 hours of skinning and make sure you have boots that don't fuck up your feet with massive blister, it kind of damps the joy of going out on the hill.

First of all we started way to late so lots of the trick skinning was done in the light of a head torch. The second mistake was to drop the tent on the way in. It all got quite late and after 4 hours of rest we set off on this majestic goulotte. Its a "real" version of the super couloir in Chamonix with the difference that there is no bolted belays and its much more of a serious undertaking not to mention its a lot steeper and more exposed climbing involved. Sadly we did not manage to top out this super route but hey there is still a few weeks left of the UIAA winter and now it looks like the roads will clear so who know I might go back.

Back home with a bit of a frost nip on the thumb and some massive blisters on each foot recovery will be spent planning this springs Himalaya event.