There was, however, one minor problem. It was warm. For the moment, we ignored this fact. The lower turfy grooves were well frozen and had plenty snow cover, the upper section was plastered with rime and the middle section held more than enough whiteness to justify an ascent. Why should a little thing like temperature get in the way? Anyway, were were probably just warm from the walk-in - it'll be fine once we get a bit higher.
|Jim on the Terrace, approaching our high point|
At the start of the fourth summer pitch, we couldn't fool ourselves any longer. We were racing a major thaw up the crag, and the thaw was winning. We were both soaked and the crag's winter plumage was visibly receeding. The next pitch would have been close to dry-tooling (well, wet-tooling) and neither of us could justify going any further, particularly on such a classic route that meant so much to us both.
It was time to go down, but we'll be back...
|... and after|