I would never thought that going to Djouce Mnt might turn into such a scary venture… Been there already so many times, every season, every possible weather. Once I even couldn’t see more that 10m ahead and always got there to the top and back untouched, until today…
Got to the Lough Tay to take some photos with further idea to walk up the Djouce due to nice snowy conditions and relatively good weather. And I mean here, a good visibility. People who were there will find it easier to know the locations of further events.
The walk started very easy on boards with a mild right side wind, on boards and nice snow. Further up towards the White Hill (on the right) the wind picked up but all still very manageable, the visibility great, route still easy to find. It was already dark and I used head light. After that point I noticed that the sides by the boards are solid frozen and basically you could use skates on it, it was so solid. At the point where boards turn to the right and the rest of the route has its own path, this path actually disappeared, mostly under the ice and scantly under the snow… Oh boy where I had my crampons. It became almost impossible to go up. The ice was so thick that kicking through was almost impossible. It was all like ice rink on the slope. Geee I am so stubborn sometimes. I knew that in dry conditions it takes maybe 10 -15 mins to the top. Yeah right, not today. But I kept walking up. I had this thought how I was going to get down but I shrugged off the thought and moved up, pushed by the wind. Got to the top, it was already 8.40PM… taking photographs became impossible due to very very strong wind and drifting snow, changing visibility dramatically. Quick break for cup of tea and was back on the “track”. Yeah right on the track, my foot prints disappeared in 10 mins, wind blowing directly in my face, lashing my eyes with icy particles… and now I was on the slope down…. no way I could walk on this and decided to slide in standing position balancing with walking poles… No, it was not a good idea. I tried to slide in squad position, weeeeeeee… here we go, the speed quickly picked up, lost the balance, got into the thinner ice sheet which broke and here now I am laying on the ice and can’t move my left leg…. No way it was happening to me. For next few minutes I wasn’t able to bent my left leg, my knee was in such a pain… F#@k it’s only Djouce I have to get back on my own…
Managed to get up, tried to forget about the pain and then really hard started kicking through the ice making some kind of steps that let me to gain some grip. Noticed foot prints in the snow… followed it and I finally got a wee bit relaxed… snow and wind hurting my eyes was still making it hard but I was off the ice 😀
Happy now followed those steps, but something wasn’t right. They were not mine steps and I was going too steep down. Switched of the light and I realised that Im going, too much off to the right. Back on ice again but after few mins I finally noticed the boards and knew Im nearly there 😀
Pheew…. I got back home all in one piece looking at my swollen knee. Can’t even think what would happen if there was a mist. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!!
Yeah I know it looks very easy in this picture 🙂 Djouce is the most prominent hump here.
f16, 15 sec, 18mm, ISO 100, 0EV