Our climbing season this time started in Cogne. This year is by far not the best one for ice, many cascades were not formed. However, in Cogne, Italy we were lucky to find some nice cascades in good conditions.
18 December 2016.
This was our first day in Cogne this season, and we tried to do some investigation of the ice conditions. To warm up a bit, we climbed the small cascade left of Cascade de Lillaz (more like a series of small ice steps along the flow). 2 first pitches we formed. Then we walked further the Lillaz Valley to see that was frozen. At the first glance, without any trace of snow around, nothing seemed to be well formed.
Short summary of what we saw:
Pattinaggio Artistico. Some people were climbing it.
Cold Couloir. Not formed
Lillaz Gully. Not completely formed
Stella Artice. Not formed
Chandelle Levure. Was climbable but quite thin. We saw people on L3.
19 December 2016. L’Acheronte.
The snowfall started. Winter feeling at last! We climbed Valnontey : L’Acheronte. Entire cascade was formed. Exits of L4 and L5 were though a bit delicate (rocks and snow). Descended by rappel by Patri Droit
20 December 2016. Patri.
Still snowing. We climbed Valnontey : Patri. Cascade was nicely formed. Exit of the last peach of Patri Gauche was a bit scary (more like a vertical snow gully).
21 December 2016. Cascade de Lillaz.
The day after the snowfall. We decided to climb something not exposed to avalanches – Cascade de Lillaz. Now the 1st pitch was formed. The second step is still a nice waterfall.
22 December 2016. E Tutto Relativo.
We climbed only the 1st pitch of Valeille : E Tutto Relativo that was formed. Nice freestanding at the 2d pitch was not stable enough.
Valeille : Pattinaggio Artistico. Some climbers did the 1st pitch 3 days ago, but we did not like the conditions. The direct start (which is mixte even in good ice conditions) was really more like a shower on the rock.
23 December. Valnontey : Monday Money.
We had to brake a trail up to the fall, but were rewarded with a beautiful and nicely formed cascade. We climbed 4 pitches. The last L5 was partially formed — the exit gets in the sun, and was formed of very thin fragile ice, so we decided not to try it at all.
Repentance Super seemed also formed, as far as it can be for a grade 6 climb.