Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Erics Answer

The Somme, an answer for Eric.

You undoubtedly did do The Somme, Eric, and you are right, the guidebook/topo description is poor. When Owen and I did it a couple of weeks ago, the line was absolutely obvious as a slab of ice on otherwise bare rock and turf. Only the easy-angled ledges had snow on them. We split the two main pitches by taking the belay, which you climbed past, on the left at the top of the initial steep groove. We then climbed up to clip the sling on the chockstone as a side runner, before stepping right from the belay to climb the ice on the slab, run-out, but technically straightforward. We didn't have to climb the corner/groove to the left of the slab at all, but I can believe that this appeared to be the better option with all the snow around on Sunday - good effort! I spoke to Chris Forrest and he had clearly done the same as you a few days earlier.

Tim Jepson

This picture shows the iced slab, the sling on the chockstone and the turfy corner, looking up the big pitch of The Somme. Owen Hayward leading.

Also another ascent of El Mancho. Good to have some pics of the girls on the blog as its always the guys.

Rachael Hinchliffe top of first main pitch

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