Helvellyn, Sun, Neve & Ice – not often words put together except in hope! Back out on Helvellyn today giving Richard some experience beyond the handful of grade 1 & 2 gullies he has done so far.
Walking in in blue skies we seemed to be ahead of all but a few climbers. Being keen to get Richard on some ice we made for the icy slabs of V Corner (III – just?)whilst it was free, being colder than yesterday afternoon the ice was a touch brittle in places but this was just an opportunity for Richard to deal with the vagaries of Ice as a climbing medium.
A seized/frozen gate on a screw gate krab gave Richard, and later me more trouble than the pitch. Even got a good length ice screw in some decent ice! 4 pitches all in great condition got us to the top. Richard got to have a good look at Horizontal buried axe belay with a bucket seat and we also looked at other snow belay options before heading over to the shelter wall hungry for lunch. Then down Swirral Edge and over to the foot of Gully 1 looking for a quick ascent. No one was on Blade Runner (IV 4 in the book, top end III or maybe just grade 4!), whatever the grade it was good climbing on a variety of mediums with some steep moves. Richard had described V Corner as awesome and was using that phrase again as he arrived at the belay with a big grin – definitely a move up on what he had done before. Awesome views from the top of a setting sun out west, a great day enjoyed by many folk.