Ciao Rovenaud

Rovenaud, Valsavaranche, Italy

After our great off-piste adventure, Gavin's shoulder might not be up for a long multi-pitch. La cascade Rovenaud is ideal for us. It provides an amphitheatre, a flat base where we can safely move around. Perfect ground to work on technique.

Unlike rock climbing where there are lots of single pitch sports venues, with ice climbing we tend to set off on multi-pitches. There is a great satisfaction about finishing a route, getting to a summit. But I tell you: doing laps on a top rope is such a great way to improve body positionning, to learn about how to save energy as a second and more important to get your confidence back.

It is so much easier to climb without leashes. Whether you are leading or seconding, there are more chances of dropping your axes trying to get out of the leashes... and the bonus comes when you realise you can swap hands and keep hitting the axe with your best swing.

Gavin is trying out my axes... as his words were "I am just testing my next year's christmas present..."!

The ice formation was very bizarre. It felt like we climbing on giant cauliflowers!

Sorry Alison, I didn't mean to tilt the camera that much...

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