Lipton - WI7 for Cecilia Builby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Mar/2012
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Back in February Spanish climber Cecilia Buil made an ascent of Lipton, the classic grade 7 icefall at the popular ice climbing destination of Rjukan, Norway.
Cecilia, travelling to Norway to make a television program (Al filo de lo Imposible), initially led the top two pitches after seconding her climbing partner Josito Romay on the first two whilst they fixed ropes and assisted their TV film crew. As Cecilia wanted to lead the entire route, they waited a few days for dangerously warm temperatures to pass before she got back on the route again.
Cecilia described her ascent to UKClimbing:
"Before starting climbing I was really nervous. A few days earlier I had fallen seconding the first pitch on a thin column of ice when a cauliflower broke on me, something that hasn't happened to me for quite a few years.
When I arrived at the crux I desperately placed a screw in the ice-roof, my arms swollen with the pump. The heat of the past few days had weakened the ice and the poor screws I had placed didn't offer much encouragement. I convinced myself they would hold a small fall and I kicked my right foot out to the hanging icicles coming down from the roof.
After two attempts my foot stuck - just - tiptoeing on the thin ice. Jamming my axe between the rock wall and the ice, I shifted my weight. Shit! Feet pop and are swinging in midair. I scrabble, body hugging the icicle, feet dangling useless below. Shit! I'm going to fall!
Suddenly a crampon sticks on the pencil thin end of the icicle. I hit the accelerator and squirm upwards. My arms explode. The bulging rock wall juts behind me, blunting the swing of my tool, making every swing short and weak, every placement marginal. I'm scared. This is mentally, technically and physically harder than anything I have done before."