Punta Jolanda, Gressoney, Italy

Una giornata fantastica climbing Punta Jolanda with Judy and Rob Greeves.

The conditions are ottimi. We were a bit surprised with the guidebook description which says a 50 m pitch. Maybe my Italian is not up to speed but it is more like 100m of amazing shaped ice.

We drove up this morning from Chamonix to Gressonney La Trinite. It is not the nearest venue I admit but well worth the journey. And the reward the short 15 min walk in.

Ice is very deceptive... From the cafe, it looks incredibly vertical and austere! From below at the belay stance, the angle eases off and it looks pretty much straight forward. Then when you are climbing it, the ice wall seems to move upright again and it feels much steeper than it did when setting off. It is all a matter of perspective and confidence...

As a second Judy is learning to save energy by using old axe placements and using open holes as hooks.

The end of a long steep pitch invariably reveals if we are right or left handed...

We continued up to the top and decided to walk down instead of abseiling. We follow some good mountain goat tracks. The walk down added a zest of adventure to the day. Thanks guys, it was una giornata indimenticabile!

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