Day 3 of our ice adventures took us back to the area we were in yesterday. According to UKC it’s called Istinden, so we’ll stick with that.
Plan was simple – Paul and I would do the route the guys did yesterday, and they’d go do the chimney one we did. Since they had more terrain to cover (and climb as 3), they left before us – this allowed us to spot them on their path up the climb in this amazing photo:
As we were talking last night, I realized that what we originally thought was the 4th line (furthest right), in reality, it is 5th. There is actually one more line, hidden behind the rock, and adjacent (Y shape) to the 5th. And it was that hidden one that was our objective for today.
Even though the route is further up the path, the approach felt easier, as it wasn’t as steep or high up as yesterday’s one.
As we got to the base and racked up, Paul lead the first pitch, WI3, choosing to build a belay 30m from the start, at the intersections of the Y junction.
From there he opted to turn left and really went at it for the full rope length (60m).
There was an option to actually stop at various points (the guys’ yesterday v-thread was actually just 10m above our first Belay), as the line was broken up by a series of ledges, but Paul opted to continue on and see what’s above the next vertical section ahead.
And to no surprise, there was more ice, which he swiftly climbed, and built a hanging belay, making it a mega 60m pitch. I promptly followed.
Perhaps it wasn’t the best of the places to be, but with no more rope left, we had no choice. It was located in a narrow passage to the upper section, that would funnel all the debris falling from the top, but we made it work – the belay was positioned well (given its location), so I could step out of the way.
Paul and I have been climbing together before, spending a week swapping leads in Hemsedal on our previous trip (in 2020), so our systems are tuned in quite well – there is a very little faff, we both know what other person ‘thinks’ (while climbing) and is going to do next (and why!) – it all comes with experience, and results in making things go fast, smooth and most importantly safe.
The top Pitch was 30 meters, a bit of snow slope leading to a pillar, that went for 16 or so meters, at around WI4.
Once at the top we quickly did the math and figured out that we are just about 120meters from our bags, meaning we could run two 60m abseils.
Unfortunately top didn’t have any trees, so the descent was going to be a V-thread.
As expected, this took us to roughly 60m of the bags, and another quick&solid vthread took us back to the start of the climb.
On the way down we inspected the right-hand side line – which is something we could come back to on some future days (it seems a bit steeper, but definitely a lot wetter).
Once on the path, we spotted the guys abseiling off their climb (the one we did yesterday). It was great to know they were on their way home too.
It turned out that the guys had also a successful day, and since they are climbing as 3, they just run out of time to get to the top tree- however they did climb the hard pitches in the midsection of the route. Well done!
Tomorrow the weather is meant to change a bit with light snowfall expected and we are not sure what we will do. Perhaps go back and do the right-hand side variant, or walk up further down the path to check the other climbs there (meant to be 8 or more formed.
- from v-threads at the top on the right hand side, 55m
- from v-threads half way up the route to the base 60m
P1 – WI3, 30m
P2 – WI4, 60m (but can be easily broken down to 2)
P3- WI4, 30m