We've just returned from a quick hit in the Dolomites. The weather has been pretty bad in the Alps this season and we didn't escape as heavy rain put paid to our chances of climbing anything significant. We even tried running away to Arco midweek but if anything the weather was worse although a little warmer! Our weeks cultural tally included the Falzarego Pass war time tunnels & trenches, the tricky Ski Club 18 via feratta, an ascent of Sass de Stria by it's South Arete, pizzas & coffee in the Italian Lakes, wet limestone and hornets nests in Arco and finally a quick visit to Venice!
Please follow the link to John Pickles Photography for some more images.
This weekend I'm working for SkiAscent helping prep Mac & Andy for a trip to the Alps with Mont Blanc firmly in their sights. We spent Saturday battling the elements on Pinnacle Ridge which had turned into a waterfall. Despite this we made a smooth ascent looking at a variety of different techniques for moving together on alpine terrain by themselves and with a guide. We were buffeted around by some strong downdrafts and we were pretty chilled when we got to the top so we quickly bagged the summit of St Sunday Crag and left the planned technical descent of Pinnacle Ridge to another day.
If anything the weather on Sunday was even worse and we decided discretion was the better part of valour. Scratch plan A of Corvous and bring on plan B - Cam Crag Ridge in Langstrath. After a quick splash up the valley we had an early lunch in the howff before braving the torrential rain and gusting winds on the ridge following the crest throughout. We finished the day by retreating to Shepherds Cafe to practice taking coils over a coffee and slab of carrot cake.
This weekend myself and Nick Cannon-Jones have been working with Rockhoppers Mountaineering Club running a Rescue for Climbers course. The Saturday was spent braving the elements at Sandale Quarry developing the members climbing systems to proactively prevent problems in the first place. We then looked at some of the simple building blocks such as escaping the system and assisted hoists which can be used to solve many of the common problems which may occur
Sunday was a far nicer day and we enjoyed some dry rock (& the cafe1) at Shepherds crag in Borrowdale which allowed us to take problem solving into a multi pitch environment. Ascending and descending ropes were covered in detail before we moved on to a number of scenarios as we made a mass ascent of Jackdaw Ridge. Thanks to everyone present for some great input despite the conditions and fingers crossed you'll never need to use any of the techniques in anger.