>While I may have been a little 'gung ho', im not sure what dont you understand?
>Ramp is not technical........ daggering is not technical - it is physical
>- particually after a few hundred meters, and certainly dangerous if you
>take a tumble, but it is not TECHNICAL.
>You want to be bloody confident, but it isnt going to be technical difficulty
>that will turn you round. as everyone else said it is conditions, exposure,
>the "holy sh!t this is a real mountain" that will turn you round or kill
>Take it easy, and as I said in the first post - if either of you feel
>out of your depth go home.
Yeah, maybe I just read your post wrongly. I couldn't understand how on one hand you were saying a rope was ?ineffective on the ramp but suggesting that 600m of face-in downclimbing in conditions that could vary from very firm to slushy mess would be OK for a guy that has not yet even seen snow. In my opinion facing in for that long requires good fitness and good technique to do it efficiently. It is perhaps just a technique (technical) that you take for granted. I don't think a rank beginner should take that for granted. I understand that a number of the deaths have been caused by facing out in bally soft conditions and/or not pitching. One option would be to lower the weaker member off good T-slots down the Ramp if it is soft and have them set an anchor and belay the stronger member down.
I also found the bullet hard ice covered in sastrugi/rime on the top ridge above the ramp very unnerving at times when the angle changed and think good French technique (to a beginner this is technical) and the ability to make sure you do not snag a crampon is very important. Stuffing up this technique will sure as hell "turn you round" (and send you shooting off the ridge!).
Doesn't really matter anyway, epic steve said everything that matters. Depending on the season/conditions it could be a doddle or an epic. Agree about the accent thing, the irony is that the guiding industry over here relies so heavily on the Aussie dollar! Walking in/out provides a much harder but more rewarding experience IMHO, especially if you do a round trip (eg up French Ridge, down the waterfall route - check local conditions)