Petestack Blog

9 January 2010

Buried paths and Abalakov threads

Filed under: Climbing,Running — admin @ 10:35 pm

This afternoon, the Ciaran Path to the Blackwater Dam started crisp, delightfully icy and ideal for spiking along at speed before becoming buried by snow, heavy going and almost impossible to follow (too easy to be misled by the deer tracks despite having run it scores of times before) above the frozen lochans.

Yesterday I was climbing with friends on some splendid unrecorded Grade III icefalls below Stob Coire nam Beith, and we descended by abseiling off Abalakov threads. Which basically means you’re anchored to some cord tied through intersecting holes in the ice… and, as last man down, it was my job to dismantle our ice-screw backups (gulp!) before following the others down the ropes. However, these things are much stronger than you might think with loadings of 6kN quoted by Andy Kirkpatrick for a narrow thread (see second photo) in good ice and 12kN for a broader one, so the equalised double thread for our more serious first abseil was probably largely first-timers’ Abalakov paranoia!

1 Comment

  1. […] Isi texted me yesterday (while I was out running to the Dam) to ask if I fancied a climb today ‘before all this lovely ice disappears’, the first […]

    Pingback by The Caolasnacon Posse « Petestack Blog — 10 January 2010 @ 8:30 pm

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