Gondola to 600 metres or so, then the 5 of us walked round to the East Face to look at the winter climbing routes. Approaching Climbers' Col we discovered a new spectator sport in that lots of skiers and snowboarders were out , and fancying themselves, were leaping off the cornice from teh summit plateau. Occasionally someone would stay on their feet but most wiped out in the first, icy 20 feet or so and went down in a jumble of limbs, boards, ski sticks and heads. Spectacular! I was wishing we had some score cards to hold up.
The track below the climbs (round to Easy Gully) looked strenuous (deep powder) so we headed straight up to challenge the cornice - the top was steep and icy enough to demand close attention to crampon technique, or assiduous step cutting from a vintage member of the party - so due respect to those bruised skiers. Apart from the two yahoo's who were all set to jump down on the top of our step cutter, who had to be told forcefully to p*** off and find another bit of cornice!
Sadly the plateau, which had been in sunshine when the first of the party front pointed over the lip of the cornice, wwas clagged in by the time the last was up. We strolled along to the cairn, but no view!
Two cornices in two days though - great fun.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.