Saturday 9 January 2010

Cogne Update

Pitch 4 on Chandelle Levure

He even walks round town like this! Ice climbing athlete and international businessman Nick Jennings.

Looking down pitch 4 of Cascade de Lillaz

Johnny trying not to look pumped emerging off the ciger of Chandelle Levur.

Just had 2 superb days in Cogne with Nick and Johnny - too much snow, too much wine (though not enough for Johnny) and excellent banter.
The avalanche risk is pretty high right now but the rive gauche in Valleille was said to be ok so we headed up and did the Chandelle Levure (II, 4+). Nick's usual frantic start saw us start the route at 11am, and by the time we had done the 4th pitch it was snowing heavily and there were avalanches crashing everywhere on the other side of the valley so we bailed. Anyway, the pitches we did were in good nick, albeit with some brittle ice on the 4th pitch (roughly grade 4).

Teams out on Tuborg and Coyote just nearby as well. Unfortunately 3 Dutch lads were avalanched just over the ridge from us in Valnontey, and 1 later died, condolences to their friends and family.

With even more snow today we settled for a romp up the uber classic Cascade de Lillaz (II,3). Being safe from avalanches, the route was even more popular than usual but in good nick and good fun.

When we got back to down everyone was telling us not to climb any couloirs tomorrow and everyone seems to be in a high state of understandable paranoia. I personally wouldn't climb in Cogne for now due to avalanche risk but those with better local knowledge may know some safe spots. Have fun and stay safe.