Saturday, October 18, 2008

Another Summit Post

I've come across another excellent, and very helpful report on climbing Izta. Actually I didn't just stumble across it - a link to it was emailed to me. There's no better way of preparing for such a huge adventure than learning from other peoples efforts at doing the same thing, so these sort of reports are both helpful and encouraging!

After passing the high point just short of the glacier we put on our crampons. They remained on until we got back to this same place. There was a bit of a crevasse close to the near side of the glacier. We could see where others had crossed it at a bit of a packed down place. After that we headed straight across staying to the high line. There were several narrow cracks in the glacier, but nothing that was gaping. Do not stray too far to the west side. It drops off dramatically. You will see this when you look back further on.

The glacier drops down some in the middle before rising back up again. After arriving at the other side it is a left turn to go to the summit. Before making this turn we had to negotiate a small snow cliff. Again we saw where other tracks had found the easiest way up.

There is a narrow stretch of ridge with some up and down before the final push to the first summit. This is a place where some might want an axe. We chose to stay with our ski poles because it felt more secure. It is definitely a place to watch your step!

At the 5100m contour we started the final ridge to the summit. The ridge was mostly bare of snow. Sometimes we got to choose between some loose stuff or rock scrambling. There were a few places where there was little choice and some exposure. We topped out on the first of three summits at 537816 2120155. From here the other two summits can be seen. The three summits were bare of snow and rose above the summit glacier.

The full report can be found here.



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