A couple of weeks ago I asked for some advice from those who had actually climbed Zero Gully. I kindly received lots of good stuff , you know who you are.
This post is to thank all you contributors as on Friday 22nd Feb myself & a partner climbed the route in fantastic conditions , styrofoam snow & hard ice , blue sky & a cloud inversion on reaching the summit.
For all those yet to do it pick the right conditions & the route is a safe one.
We had 6+ good ice screws on pitch one ( we climbed on 60m ropes ) , a good double ice screw belay at top of pitch one plus axes , similar number of screws on pitch 2 again with a good screw belays at belay 2.
Pitches 3 , 4 & 5 we got rock runners & / or rock belays( or could have if the team above had not got to some of them first ! ) but we also took two deadmen ( a good decision ) & placed one as a runner on the easy ground & used one plus two more screws at belay 5.
So good was the snow & ice apart from a sugary 50 metres just below the cornice that after the team above had cleared we decided to move together for pitches 6 & 7 , still getting in the occasional screw in.
In summary - a fantastic route & less busy than the frenetic Orion Face which was festooned with teams & also looked a little thinner although still good.
How long did it take ? we left the dam car park at 6.45am started the route proper after a 20 mins wait for a team above at about 9.00am ( it was -7c on the CIC hut thermometer ) & we were on the summit by 2.00pm & back to dam car park after going down the Red Burn & Half Way Lochan descent by 5.00pm.