I had a few interesting conversations over the last two months on alpine, rock and ice conditions and ratings.
One comment was, "I'm not worried about the ice, how much harder than Canadian WI5 can it be."
Another, "The Eiger! It is only 5.7 right?"
"The route...it is easy to find....watched 3 videos of it last night."
"Must have had better conditions."
All these from friends of mine. My thoughts at the time went something like this.....
WI5...is generally easy compared to 300m of rock hard 55 degree alpine ice under 2 or 3 feet of snow stuck on the end of the day ....at 12K feet.
The Difficult Crack seemed like 5.11r in boots, crampons, a big pack and a coating of verglass at first light.
This after being shattered on a trade route in -20C temps, 20cm of new snow and a stiff wind. We had no clue where the route was suppose to go. And I was hard pressed to believe it actually did/would go where we went.....
"Welcome to Chamonix, it is always, all about conditions...."
Alpinism...it is always a good laugh and generally gets the last laugh as well :-)
2 Vallée Blanches - Classique & Petit Envers
5 days ago