Monday, February 04, 2008

A day down the coast

What a top weekend!

Saturday had Wales' glorious victory (and some well justified banter), followed by the tightest band practice to date. We've settled on a set-list, a name - "Toucan Rule" (from two-can rule, the summer beer restriction) and a date, although the venue is still under negotiation.

Plans to kite-board to the coast are still on hold as the ceaseless wind has, well, ceased. I think there have been two kiting days in the past three weeks, perhaps an all-time low. However, Sunday was still and sunny so we headed down to the creeks for a spot of iceclimbing.

Walking in past a frozen Cenotaph Corner

Although the termometer said -10C, the still air and reflected light from the icecliffs made us incredably hot.

Down by the sea

Last weekend there were orcas and penguins swimming along the edge, but nothing today.

Ice-foot underwater

The ice was solid enough to get right up to the edge. The lower section is frozen sea, the upper snow packed down on top of it.

"Greasey Sea

Being totally still, the sea had a strange, half frozen greasy appearance. Futher out, ice bergs appeared and disapeared looming above the horizon. Very bizarre light!

Playing on the icecliffs

This is what we'd come for. Good, solid ice, about 25m high and amazingly warm. Running up the easy lines and chatting at the bottom reminded me of easy days on the Peak Gritstone. Construction staff as well as the base crew came along, so we had plenty of tips for Cape Town from the locals.

Me on the crux

Later on we chucked a rope down the difficult corner Toddy and I had explored during relief. Better light made it a easier to see the good ice, but no-less steep! With a few falls and lots of grunting, I dragged myself to the top. Others followed with a variety of styles from delicate technique to pure arm power! It was a great laugh.

Today work trudges on, but morale is high thanks to aching arms reminding us of a top weekend.


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