Fishface - Rigging and pitch-measuring trip
An ambitious day which slowly went increasingly wrong. The group departed base camp at a stunning 8.20AM, blitzed up the plateau and promtly became mired in several hours of faff which soon descended into more festering. The plan had been to rig the entrance series of Fishface down to the bottom of Blitzen Boulevard (4th pitch), from where we expected everything to be left rigged. However, confusion about rope lengths and metalwork and some impressively long grike trips meant that the two shallow pushing groups planning to explore from Blitzen and Liquid Luck caught us up at Top Camp. Uncle Mike was not amused. We swiftly bombed down to FF in 25 mins and started rigging. Joel was left to do everything as Jonty's light 'broke'.
The entrance pitch/spiral traverse thing was completed on a 40m rope. Tasteful noods (2nd pitch) didn't quite go on a 27m due to rerigging around the top rebelay to avoid rub, so Joel initially reached the bottom on a knot pass and Jonty rerigged to the bottom on a 32m. The traverse at the bottom of Tasteful Noods (2A) and pitch 3 both had rope left from last year but not rigged - some of the knots didn't line up and required rerigging but the lengths were fine. Pendulum pitch needs some more bolts at the bottom, possibly as a traverse, to make getting on and off the pitch less deathy. Uncle Mike rigged Blitzen for us as we got too scared, he insisted the step over the huge rift with no traverse was fine, so we left him to it. There may or may not be a bolt there now
past Blitzen, everything remained rigged in situ from last year. We checked everything to the traverse at the bottom of Liquid Luck (pitch 6) and apart from some loose bolts all ropes were fine and hangers non-corroded. On the way back, we measured pitch lengths using the ULSA disto and Jonty drew up a definitive rigging topo that takes into account the route changes last year. The pitch lengths will be entered into the box below when Jonty reappears at Base Camp.
Having decided we'd held eveyone enough, we joyfully skipped back up the Plateau to bed.