After yesterday’s long day out we were happy to try something a little closer to home again. Particularly given that there was a large amount of snowfall forecast today. We knew that E Tutto Relativo was in good condition having spoken to other climbers and the 10m vertical ice section looked a good progression on previous routes we had climbed on the trip. Temperatures were hovering around zero but they had been minus numbers in the night so we anticipated good ice conditions again.
Approaching the base of the route
It was another busy morning but everybody was suitably spaced out so that there were no delays. Anna led the initial 70 degree ice pitch, which was a little wet, with water running out of one screw placement. Axe and front point placements easily bit into the ice as a consequence though.
The main pitch looked impressive but was surprisingly easy due to the amount of traffic that the route had seen. A series of deep hooks led all the way to the top of the pitch with barely need to swing the axes more than a couple of times. What’s more the ice was now dry and placements felt secure. I placed my 22cm screw at the base of the vertical section. Then a couple of ice screws in existing holes higher up and I was soon at the top of the pitch with little signs of exertion.
The main pitch
An easy ice pitch then led to the top. It was only just after 11am so we had made even better time than yesterday. We contemplated climbing Cristal Giusi (Eau Des Cristaux looked too thin to climb) but Anna was feeling pretty tired after some big days out and I wasn't overly bothered about climbing a no star single pitch WI3 as a potential finale to the trip (although it looked more like WI4 in current conditions). Back in Lillaz there was more coffee to be drunk and panettone to be eaten. Today was provisionally supposed to be our last day’s climbing but given the rapid ascent my mind has turned to thinking about potentially one more route tomorrow morning before the flight home…