One of my clients Al, like many other climbers, has been keen to tick the 3 star classic Cascade (V) for many years. Al is quite a handy ice climber, but a lack of recent time on ice has meant this route is just out of his grasp to currently lead.
With this in mind, and that fact the route may not form for years to come (who knows?) This week we managed to combine, time off work, conditions, and a slot for me to add this to our agenda. Considering it was an Easter holiday weekend day, the forecast was excellent and it’s a route on many a climbers tick list I suggested an early start.
Walking away from the cars at 5.30am this morning with clear skies and a cool looking moon over Pen Y Pass our spirits were lifted. Arriving at the crag we found two other keen bunnies. Well done to them for getting an even earlier start to us. They too were expecting the hoards.
The route proved to be sporty for Grade V, in particular pitch 3 and the other pair of climbers worked with us so that Al and I could progress up the route behind them without getting bombarded with ice. This meant we did not have to wait to start the route until they topped out. I for one, are not keen to climb behind others on ice, nature of the beast, ice will be flying down. So thanks to those guys for being so polite and helpful.
Topping out into blinding sun with the mountains giving an Alpine feel was a perfect end to a classic climb. We decided that would do us for the day. Why not finish when to going is good.
However, back at the base of the crag the temptation to do Central Icefall was there, but we decided that the amount of water running off the climb might be tempting fate.
To our surprise we were the only 2 parties at the crag until the time we left and we did not see anyone walking that way on our way down.