/ dec ice?

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alasdair19 on 07 Oct 2013
Hello

Looking for pre-season ice climbing eg before xmas.

Can't afford canada, considering cogne, ecrins kandersteg?

Anyone been out early season?

I assume norway just too dark and grim....

al
alasdair19 on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19: C'mon i'm sure some people here have at least thought about it....
Dave Cumberland - on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19:
> (In reply to alasdair19) C'mon i'm sure some people here have at least thought about it....

I've seen 600 feet of continuous water ice all the way up Central Gully on Great End in November before. That would be next month.
DC
> I assume norway just too dark and grim....

The north can be beautiful then but days are short. Doesn't mean you can't climb though. Good chance to see the Northern Lights.
machars on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19: cogne was good before Xmas last year. Like going there at that time as its much quieter and not chopped up. Heading back this year so hope it's good again!
paulmck - on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to machars: This years Cogne ice festival is 13/14/15 December so avoid those dates if you like it quiet.
machars on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to paulmck: yes might not be quite so quiet this year!
alasdair19 on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to machars: thanks for that cogne was the initial thought good to have the dates for the fest. is there worrthwhile guidebook? anyone been to Kandersteg that sort of time?
machars on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19: the book you want is 'cascade autour du Mont Blanc vol II' which is in French. Kandersteg is a bit lower so maybe not quite so reliable? Amazing climbing but not so much below WI5 from what I remember.
alasdair19 on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to machars: cool thats what i had guessed about kandersteg. have yuou climbed round the ecrin alp duez etc?
machars on 12 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19: been to la grave for a few days which is great too- all pretty much roadside!
Erstwhile on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19:

Bit of a non-question in the sense that there is no real answer - it can be good anywhere in December, but it often isn't.
A few years ago we did routes in Val Daone, and Lago di Tovel (both roadside) first weeks of December, and so on.

Choose your venue and flip a coin.

What is obvious is that there is more chance on the northern side of the Alps, and in all places very high up. For example Circolo del Gelo, in a side valley to Val Daone, is typically in condition from November to April. Nice free bothy to doss in. But you need to plod up, preferably on skis or at very least snow shoes. It is not a short walk and you will definitely be breaking trail (plenty of mixed granite routes awaiting an ascent up there as well, just in case anybody cares).

If you come to our part of the world (near Arco) then you have the interesting plan B of rock climbing in the sunshine and eating tasty pizza if the ice is pap.
Or indeed, even if the ice is good, a rest day on massive limestone slabs in the sun.
(But not even that can be guaranteed).
Charlie Burbridge - on 13 Oct 2013
In reply to alasdair19: Try the North Face Triangle on Mont Blanc du Tacul. Easy short routes. Easy access.

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