The ramp had excellent snow conditions, nice firm neve, albeit exposed only in the spindrift runnels, so that one was forced to climb in a constant barrage of tiny ice cystals and pebbles. Luckily nothing big was coming down.
We had been in a month previously to attempt a winter ascent of the "Great Gut" but turned back after taking hours to break trail to the base only to find high avalanche danger on the wall. Now, a month later, the top chimney of the Gut was missing ice and looking quite hideous. The Cuthbert/Rowat was formed up with white ice, but melting, and looked like it would have given a 6-pitch WI 3-4 earlier in the season. The Pup Buttress also had its' chimneys packed full of ice, and the snow line was up over the level of the first belay on the route - that's a lot of snow, alright! All 3 of these lines are apparently still waiting for their FWA's, despite a few strong attempts.
The Ramp route, on this occasion, turned out fairly easy. The thick snowpack is just starting to creep and develop tension cracks, and there is no exposed rock or ice, so it was easy going to the top of the shoulder. Here we roped up because the snow became rather soft, and leapfrogged belays across to the... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)