18th of December 2011….Mild weather on its way…One day of cold left!!! None of the boys can come out to play today….Christmas shopping to be done – Which is what I probably should be doing …aswell as taking my daughter to see Santa!!! But there’s only one cold day left …..one !!!!
I decide to rise at silly o clock and head to Corrán Tuathal alone to see how “The Lick” is getting on!!! The Lick is an ice climb which starts at about 680mtrs and rises in a series of steps to about 950mtrs. It was first climbed in 1984 and is a fine route of ice and snow when in decent condition and is a grade III.
I walked into the Hags Glen in the dark with only the gentle early morning classics on lyric fm through my headphones to keep me company. I was positively optimistic as I slogged up to the start of the climb in Coimín Láir under the NE face. By now the day had begun to get brighter and other climbs and lines could now be seen and they were in condition!!! If they looked climbable there was hope for “The Lick”.
It was in-YEEESSSS !!!Geared up,I breathed deeply and started to climb. Ice and snow conditions got better and better the higher I went. There was less snow on the route than there was during the big freeze of last year but more ice pitches than I remember.
A special day…Alone… climbing on the NE face of Corrán Tuathail… in such a spectacular situation, surrounded by beautiful icy peaks….it’s hard to believe this is Ireland. You could be anywhere!!!
Well, the mild spell is here and the ice and snow is all gone for now but the memory of such a wonderful day will remain for a long time…
The view looking down