Frendo spur take two.

Posted: June 1, 2013 in extreme, Ski
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Frendo spur.

Frendo spur.

After our adventure with bad weather and some hard snow on the lower section last time it was nice to ski this line again with sunshine and perfect powder top to bottom. In these conditions it really is freeride and gives some of the best skiing on the North face albeit with a bunch of rappelling in the middle.

I met Luca down at the lift the day after my Mallory descent knowing conditions were great and keen to ski something but not bothered what. At the top we met up with Minna, Bird and Ross and everyone was hyped on going to the frendo. As I knew the line from last time I happily skied first in the upper section and lead down the rappels.

The snow was perfect, deep stable compact powder. To get to the spine there is a gully of ice by the serac to pass which seems to be a permanent feature. I made a V thread and started using the rope as a hand rail but quickly placed a screw and attached to the rope when I was left standing on grey ice which had been masked by just 1cm of powder.

Arriving at the top of the spine is a truly is breathtaking and I struggle to think of a more beautiful place to ski. I skied in fast but stuck close to the safety of the top of the spine. The slough that ensued was huge and rolled of the end of the serac crashing into the glacier 600m below. Bird not wanting to ski on everyones tracks  and seeing the snow was safe cut out wide and made some HUGE turns before rejoining the spur.

With five people the 200m of rappelling is always going to take a while and I was worried the now would be getting wet on the bottom slopes. Our luck was in however and where we had been skiing rock hard crust the first time round was deep powder. I hung out at the back letting the others enjoy the lower slopes which although are still over cliffs and relatively steep feel a lot less stress full than the upper half. The snow stayed good all the way down to the bottom and we enjoyed a cold beer at the mid station watching Bird speed fly the face after getting the lift back up. The day was perfect and I would be surprised if I ever found the Frendo is such good conditions top to bottom again.

Luca at the top. © Ben Briggs

Luca at the top. © Ben Briggs

Minna at the top. © Ross Hewitt

Minna at the top. © Ross Hewitt

Luca. © Ross Hewitt

Luca. © Ross Hewitt

The crew chilling while I set up a v thread. © Ross Hewitt

The crew chilling while I set up a v thread. © Ross Hewitt

Bird coming off the rope after crossing the ice gully.

Bird coming off the rope after crossing the ice gully. © Ben Briggs

Looking down the spine. © Ben Briggs

Looking down the spine. © Ben Briggs

Ben skiing the spur. © Ross Hewitt

Ben skiing the spur. © Ross Hewitt

Ben skiing the spur. © Ross Hewitt

Ben skiing the spur. © Ross Hewitt

Ben skiing the spur. © Ross Hewitt

Ben skiing the spur. © Ross Hewitt

The slough. © Paul Lang

The slough. © Paul Lang

Looking back up at my track on the spine. © Ben Briggs

Looking back up at my track on the spine. © Ben Briggs

Bird making huge turns. © Ross Hewitt

Bird making huge turns. © Ross Hewitt

Bird making huge turns. © Ross Hewitt

Bird making huge turns. © Ross Hewitt

Ross skiing the spine. © Luca Pandolfi

Ross skiing the spine. © Luca Pandolfi

Minna skiing the spine. © Luca Pandolfi

Minna skiing the spine. © Luca Pandolfi

Luca heading down to the start of the rappels. © Ross Hewitt

Luca heading down to the start of the rappels. © Ross Hewitt

Minna and Bird waiting while i set up the first rappel. © Luca Pandolfi

Minna and Bird waiting while i set up the first rappel. © Luca Pandolfi

Bird on rappel. © Ben Briggs

Bird on rappel. © Ben Briggs

Minna skiing on the lower slopes. © Ben Briggs

Minna skiing on the lower slopes. © Ben Briggs

Bird on the lower slopes © Ross Hewitt

Bird on the lower slopes © Ross Hewitt

Bird on the lower slopes. © Ross Hewitt

Bird on the lower slopes. © Ross Hewitt

Team photo back at the mid station.

Team photo back at the mid station.

Our tracks on the spine and Birds speed wing at the end of the serac. © Ross Hewitt

Our tracks on the spine and Birds speed wing at the end of the serac. © Ross Hewitt

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