Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Umbrella Falls, Liathach

Another good weather forecast so Ron and I went back to Liathach to climb Umbrella Falls. There were two teams on Poacher's Fall and one on The Salmon Leap so not a busy place.
We started up the icefall on the lower tier below the ramp that can also be used to reach the climb. It was a full 60m of steep ice with some rather strange ice shapes near the top - mini umbrellas?
The next pitch was over the snow on the ramp. It looked a short distance to the ice but must have been about 50m to a rock belay below the start of the ice. The next pitch was fun though the slabby snow on the next tier was a bit worrying as it felt like it could all just slide off and in places it had! Luckily it was quite easy to kick through to the solid neve underneath.
I found another rock belay at the bottom of the next pitch whih did as the guidebook promised as the ice was steadily getting steeper. Our next pitch was the crux and Ron found it steeper than it looked remarking at one point that he felt he was climbing vertical crud as the snow was so crunchy and slabby. Steeper still with a ramp to the right and the point where we could decide if we wanted to continue to the top or used the abalakov threads left previously and abseil down. We chose to continue and had another traversing ice pitch then a short snow and rock pitch to the snow slopes above and on to the ridge. Our descent was down Way Up!
 Looking in to Coire Dubh Mor
 Umbrella Falls
 First pitch
 Third pitch
 Fourth pitch
 Crux pitch
 Sixth pitch - icy traverse
Snow slopes to the ridge
Way down - Way Up´╗┐

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