Bullock and Emmett - Hard Ice

© Nick Carter
Ray Wood reports on the DMM website:

Combining Nick Bullock's drive and determination with the energy of the perpetually hyper-driven Tim Emmett was always likely to result in something impressive. Teaming up in Chamonix just before New Year, they repeated the legendary Thierry Renault ice-route, La Lyre, in a long day.

The 550 metre mighty VI WI 7 in the Cirque Fer a Cheval above Sixt was first climbed in 1992 by Renault, Denis Condevaux and Wilfred Colonna. At the time it was considered by many to be the hardest ice-route in the world.

Bullock commented: "I'm not surprised Thierry gave up climbing and found religion at the end of that winter! There is no technical ice grade harder than seven."

Full report with photo on the DMM website.

For more background on The Lyre and the history of Cirque Fer a Cheval have a look at Lindsay Griffin's write-up over at

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12 Jan, 2009
Awesome - and what a team.
12 Jan, 2009
Tim followed that up freeing onsight Sous l'Oil des Choucas (I think?) in Freissinieres - a 300m mixed monster and Nick amongst other things did an Andy Parkin WI7 that some french dudes aided, Nick reckonned Scottish VI. The boys are on fire.
12 Jan, 2009
// but it was amusing with Nicks quite serious side and tim's quite ... loud side... the combination of the two!
12 Jan, 2009
Conditions are reported to be exceptional on the Lyre, but a fatal accident on Saturday has highlighted the very serious objective dangers on this route. From around 1pm, when the sun hits the wall, the middle/lower part of the line is exposed to ice falling from the Lyre Directe (which is not formed) and this continues throughout the afternoon. When the sun leaves the wall the sudden drop in temperarures can also provoke ice collapse for a while afterwards. Anybody that has been inspired by Nick's photos and plans to climb the Lyre should be VERY wary of descending by the line of ascent in the afternoon. Other descent options are much more complicated, so the best strategy might be to take a duvet jacket and sit it out until the hanging ice above is fully stable. An even better strategy might be to find a different objective - there's plenty around at the moment. At the best of times the Lyre is considered an early season route and the locals generally consider that after mid-January the crux pitch has caught too much sun for the ice to be stable. This year the pitch is very well formed and may in itself stay good for longer. The objective dangers however, are unlikely to go away any time soon.
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