A French Bonanza

Just in case all you ice climbers are considering what is possible at the moment, this little series of shots provided by Julien Desecures should give food for thought! Julien is staying with us this week with his friend Arnaud Guillaume and they seem attracted to the top of Observatory Gully.

Of interest is that the ice has become more brittle as the last week has progressed, no doubt due to the really low temperatures. Julien felt the ice was more friendly at the start of the week!

Satanic VersesSatanic Verses

Satanic Verses

Psychedelic WallPsychedelic Wall

Today, one walker decided on a direct route to the summit, only to find themselves beneath the chockstone in Gardyloo Gully with only a ski pole and crampons for security. Thank you to the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team

Thin on Psychedelic Wall, but still enough for plenty of action.

Psychedelic WallPsychedelic Wall

Julien and Arnaud on a day away from the top of the ‘Ben’ at Castle Tioram.

Albatross looking thin and mixed
Albatross a little different from last winter when we all felt brave enough to venture onto it with ‘thick’ ice.

Top pitches of AlbatrossAlbatross finishing pitches.

Smith's Route on Gardyloo ButtressSmith’s Route on Gardyloo Buttress without the icicle pitch.

Happy summit

Happy Arnaud.

2 Responses to “A French Bonanza”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Alan,
    The temperature inversion was extreme whilst the skies were clear- running water behind Tower Scoop & half-way across traverse on Smiths.(Tues & Wed) This is why ice is getting worse, not because of the “extreme cold”. Hope you don’t mind me putting in my interpretation.
    Agree with the guys who talked about warm rock- Carn Dearg is preferable to Orion face for sure.
    Still see ya next week though! Mike Lates

  2. Thanks Mike,

    The French lads said it was more brittle as the week went on. Maybe losing something in the interpretation. They certainly were not complaining about getting wet though, and my drying rooms have not been in use for a few nights now!

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