Feb 10 18
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Yesterday it snowed, but that didn’t stop us. We went down the Valnontey Valley for a bit of fun, but we forgot the camera. Doh!

We commiserated with a traditional Italian Pizza.

My! What a big pizza

Today was gloriously sunny, so we decided to try the interesting looking Stella Artice. We’d heard that it had an interesting move through a window!?

Stella Artice

Luckily, despite the Sterling Alpine start of 9.30am we were the first to the route. The sun was already on the other side of the valley and making it’s impression on the recently fallen snow. There were regular avalanches.

Avalanche!

We decided we should move pretty fast, and come down by 1.30, when the sun was scheduled to hit our side of the valley. The first pitch was easy enough, leading us to a cave of ice. The second pitch starts inside the cave and takes you through a tiny window and on to the face. By the time Pete made it to the window, it was pouring with water and the sun had hit the face. He quickly scampered up the wet ice to the belay, watching two avalanches pass him on the left and on the right. There was also a loud “ATTENTION!” from some French guys playing around on mixed ground, and then a huge crash as some ice came crashing down. I couldn’t see what it was while I was in the cave, but at least I heard the French guys laughing so I knew everything was ok.

I followed as quickly as I could and we decided to call it a day. The temperatures seemed a bit high and we didn’t want to be submerged in the white stuff.

Climbing in the cave toward the tiny window

The sun was still strong so we strolled back to the apartment and enjoyed left over pizza and coke.

Relaxing with left-over pizza

A good end to a good week.

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A Stella Artice moment”

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