/ Ceillac

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Darron - on 06 Feb 2012
Is any rock protection needed for either easy Rider or Hol on Ice at Ceillac or is it just screws and bolts? Ta V Much
dan wisey - on 06 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron: climbed easy rider last week, just need screws, it has a bolted belay and the top belay has in situ tat around two trees. enjoy. dan
adrspach - on 06 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron: Bolts where needed on Holiday on Ice. Easy Rider bellow ice, in the middle for belay and on top high above ice. Watch out for ice falling from previous parties on Easy Rider there is no escape from it.
Dave Williams - on 06 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron:

The rock is of cr*p quality on both routes and it's best not to look too closely at the stuff some of the belay bolts have been drilled into either. Most of the equipped belays are reasonably sheltered from falling ice, although the bottom of Easy Rider is a blatant exception. Trees are often used for belays on both branches of Holiday on Ice as well as at the top of Easy Rider. Rock gear definitely not needed.

Hope this helps.

Toby_W on 06 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron: Just ice screws and bolted belays.

Make sure you do Formes du Chaos as it's in amazing nick, the most atmospheric I've seen it in years. Especially the last pitch up the narrow cleft, truly magic.


Darron - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to dannyW:

Thanks for that Dan. Is it normal to ab off the route or can you walk down?
Am I right in thinking that ER is above the other routes so you walk up the GR path to get to it?
Thanks a lot
PS normally I'd just go and suss but I have a complete ice beginner with me so I want to give her some reassurance
Darron - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Toby_W:
Thanks Toby.
i will have a beginner with me - is F du C suitable?
Toby_W on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron:

See how she goes on the other stuff but at the moment FduC is more like rock climbing as you thread your way up through the formations. When are you off and I'll stick up a couple of pictures so you have an idea what it looks like.


gear boy on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron: If you get up early enough you will do holiday on ice, and can then do easy rider on the way down, it is easy to do both routes in one day
Dave Williams - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron:

The logical way to do Easy Rider is to do one of the Holiday on Ice branches first as descending the GR path takes you very close to the start of Easy Rider. When I was there 3 weeks ago there was a traverse path linking the start of Easy Rider to the GR path. Otherwise, you're right, the base of Easy Rider is higher and it's a bit of a flog up the GR path to get to it. Don't be taken in by the 15m approach time to Easy Rider as given in the guide. It takes quite a bit longer. Descent from Easy Rider is by 2 abseils, one from a tree at the top and one from the bolt belay at the bottom of P2.

If I was climbing with a complete beginner, I'd do Holiday on Ice LH branch first. The RH branch is a bit steeper this year and this could be done on another day as they basically only share one real pitch at the start, which is short, steep (for a novice) but usually well stepped. If reassurance is needed, it's possible to belay right above the steep bit, either on a bolt on the right or on a tree on the left. Easy Rider, though shorter and slightly easier, may well be a more intimidating experience as a first route for a beginner.

Formes du Chaos is a much longer and more serious route, as indicated by the grade. As with all ice routes, it's difficulty does vary from year to year and it was much easier the second time I did it. There was a sustained 90 degree brittle ice pitch on it the first time - much closer to WI5 than WI4. Personally, I wouldn't go near it with a complete novice, but you are the best judge of that. Perhaps it'd be something to aspire to towards the end of your trip if things have gone well. An easy 5+ min walk from the car park will take you to the base of the route and from there you can see the meat of the route. As I've said, best to judge for yourself.

Current conditions & photos here:

Darron - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron:

Thanks a lot everyone.
troglodyte - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron:

Take it easy and try not to get under people - it's been very cold for a few days and it's extremely brittle, at least in Fournel, at the moment. I imagine it's similar at Celliac. But it does seem to be moderating over the next few days.
adrspach - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Darron: Just to say you can walk down from the top of ER. There is a traverse in the level of last belay across the gully towards right facing out but is steep at places.
Perhaps will see you there next weekend.

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