Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Big Tick

The reason I'd come out to Austria was a superb looking route called The Supervisor, that we'd used a photo of on the front cover of Climb. But with consistently low temperatures, Neil feeling off colour and my body getting more and more battered I wonder whether we'd get on it this trip. I'd really struggled with my left bicep on our last route a surprisingly steep 2 pitch grade 6 charmingly called Wet Dream. It had received a deep bruising whilst cleaning icicles on Gasteinerfall and felt suspiciously like my right bicep did when I snapped it's tendon. Luckily it didn't look like a broken bicep so I tried to put thatout of my mind as we set off for an earlier start than usual heading to the Eisarena at Anlauftal home of Supervisor.This is the top section of the Eisarena with the central line - Mordor (WI5) and our target Supervisor on the rightSupervisor had formed very strangely this year, with huge ice umbrellas and very thin ice low down.
We opted to climb the first pitches of Mordor, which looks like it would make a great outing.
After 60m we traversed onto Supervisor and steeper climbing. This shows Neil nearing the top of the WI5+ pitch (4th pitch in guide and our 3rd) with the madness of the crux lying ahead.
Me finding a sneaky way through on the crux and relieved that my bicep is holding together.
200m or so down to the start of the route with Mordor in the background.Abseiling down Mordor in the night required my alpine 'A game' as the previous team must have had 65m ropes to place their abalakovs. At the end of a long day I had more bruises, some frost nip in my toes (it was -20c or so all day) but most importantly of all a life affirming Big Tick!

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