The first pitch of Passopp was sustained, following a vague groove, with nothing overly steep. Plus the placements had been softened from previous ascents. Maybe closer to 4+. The second pitch, finishing up the top tier, was possibly harder than normal due to the right hand end not having formed. Instead the taller ice towards the centre offered the only passage and proved steep for the first few metres before it gradually eased back. Not much easier than the first pitch and probably Anna's hardest lead. Good effort. A really fine route.
|Beneath Passopp (WI5)|
|First pitch of Passopp|
|Start of the second pitch|
It didn't look as though we were going to top Passopp but neighbouring Skila (WI3+) looked potentially a fun outing. It aesthetically filled a narrow gorge and again proved easy for the grade in light of the short steps broken up with easy ground. The sun struck the ice at mid-height and made things all together feel like spring. Above the route the hillside was littered with fallen trees, loose ground, and exposed roots. What remained looked suspect and so we descended on Abalakovs. No more time for climbing but certainly somewhere I'll be returning to in order to explore a little further up the valley.
|The initial step on Skila|
|Last step of ice before the top|
|Hillside above Skila - not ideal for abseils|