Colton Brooks

When Ez and myself decided to do the Colton Brooks we had already done a few day routes and so were working well as a team and were fully acclimatised. We wanted to get up and over quickly, which isnt an issue for a man like Ez with his national level of fell running fitness, but we also took skis to get down to Cham quickly. The climb is one of the most esthetic lines I have been on, never hard but the ephemeral streak of ice taking you through stunning and improbable terrain under that enormous shield of rock is a fantastic journey. We took four ice screws and moved together the whole way, only slowing momentarily when Ez decided  that he didnt want to risk his new screw bottoming out in some shallow ice and would retrieve it and place one of mine. He then proceeded to fumble and drop his new screw in an ironic karma moment.

After rapping the couloir we stepped into our skis and glided effortlessly down to Cham in the dark. For some reason I had decided only to take a tikka headtorch. The short beam length and blueish light let me mistake a light grey slab of granite for neve and saw sparks coming off my edges like a locomotive pulling an emergency stop before a couple of tomahawks landed me back on my feet. An hour or so after leaving the couloir and we were back in Cham for a beer then bed.

Me at the start of the ramp above the ice field. Photo Es Tresider
Photo Es Tresider
Photo Es Tresider
Es Tresider at the top of the ramp
Traversing the ridge