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    Scottish winter climbing news

    Browsing Posts published by Simon Richardson

    Dave Burke on the first ascent of Twoburkelosis (III,4) on the Upper West Face of Gearr Aonach in Glen Coe. This easily accessible 75m-high wall contains five routes including Rescue Team Gully (II/III) first climbed by Hamish MacInnes and party in 1966. The cliff can be seen high up on the left during the approach to Stob Coire nan Locan and lies opposite the Far Eastern Buttress on Aonach Dubh. (Photo Colm Burke)

    Dave Burke on the first ascent of Twoburkelosis (III,4) on the Upper West Face of Gearr Aonach in Glen Coe. This easily accessible 75m-high wall contains five routes including Rescue Team Gully (II/III) first climbed by Hamish MacInnes and party in 1966. The cliff can be seen high up on the left during the approach to Stob Coire nan Locan and lies opposite the Far Eastern Buttress on Aonach Dubh. (Photo Colm Burke)

    On February 23, Colm and Dave Burke climbed a new route on the Upper West Face of Gearr Aonach. The cleverly-named Twoburkelosis takes a groove just inside the left edge of Jim’s Gully, and ably demonstrates that considerable potential remains for new routes in the Scottish mountains at all levels of difficulty.

    “It was cracking fun at about III 4,” Colm told me. “It was about 75m to the top with a good full pitch of mixed onto easy ground and then the top out. Overall, it was a nice little route. The forecast was poor and it was a good option in those conditions.”

    Andy Nisbet below the chockstone on the first pitch of Barbie, a new V,6 on Beinn Liath Mhor in the Northern Highlands. This south-facing cliff has proved to be a good venue for middle grade mixed routes this season. (Photo Sandy Allan)

    Andy Nisbet below the chockstone on the first pitch of Barbie, a new V,6 on Beinn Liath Mhor in the Northern Highlands. This south-facing cliff has proved to be a good venue for middle grade mixed routes this season. (Photo Sandy Allan)

    “Beinn Liath Mhor has been a happy hunting ground for Sandy Allan and I this year,” Andy Nisbet writes. “We were joined by Steve Perry this time (February 25). It is a good accessible place when snow is deep but cold enough for the south-facing cliff to be frozen. So with similar conditions anticipated, where else is there to go?

    The best remaining line was going to be harder than the previous ones but now later in the season, we ought to be climbing well. Looking at my picture of the crag, I could see the summer route Doll Restoration, a slabby V Diff up a rib. It was too clean to be a good winter line, but it had a chimney to its right and leading into a turfy crack-line. This led to overhangs but assuming we could traverse left across the rib, there looked to be white corners (it was a winter picture), and this was always a better sign than bare rock.

    The walking conditions weren’t as bad as last time, although we still lost the path, but at least we knew where we were trying to go and the photo kept us right. The initial chimney looked easy on the photo and capped by a chockstone, but I did wonder why we’d walked past it last time and not noted it as a possibility. But I didn’t think it looked too bad when we got there, although the others were happy with my offer to lead it. I think they were more concerned with the chockstone being loose, which would have been bad news, whereas I was happy that it was big enough to be solid. Although I did have slight worries when the pitch turned out to be only partially frozen, quite steep and runners hard to find. Digging out a peg placement helped the latter and a thin move meant total commitment to the chockstone. Getting on top of it meant a lot of struggling, partly not wanting to pull too much on it but mostly due to the usual tangle with leashes. Once on top, I felt it move but then I realised that there was a small loose block sitting on top of it and the main chockstone was solid. The others both went through the same worry when seconding.

    Crossing the rib turned out to be easy and I belayed on it. Sandy then led up into the white corner on the left, announcing that it was full of turf but again turning out to be quite steep and a little insecure. The route was turning out to be much more sustained than expected, as Steve led a pitch up the crest to below a steep tier. He suggested I tried a well-defined corner on the left, and it turned out to be fully frozen with helpful cracks and we agreed, the best pitch on the route. But still it wasn’t over, leaving Sandy with a steep crack-line to finish, short but perhaps the technical crux.

    That left a lot of increasingly easy ground, turning into walking up to the summit crest. The weather was deteriorating as predicted but the descent was easy on now damp snow and we were down in the corrie before the rain started. The summer route by Steve Kennedy and Cynthia Grindley was called Doll Restoration, but I don’t know whether this was some sinister Voodoo name or that Cynthia hadn’t climbed for a while. We called our route Barbie, not a reference to Cynthia, and grade V,6.”

    Uisdean Hawthorn on a new VII,8 on Glas Tholl on An Teallach. The route follows a prominent line of corners on the impressive lower part of Minor Rib. The chimney line in the background is the Flake Chimney Variation to Minor Rib (V,5) that was first climbed in 2009. (Photo Guy Robertson)

    Uisdean Hawthorn on the first ascent of Low Riders (VII,8) on Glas Tholl on An Teallach. The route follows a prominent line of corners on the impressive lower part of Minor Rib. The chimney line in the background is the Flake Chimney Variation to Minor Rib (V,5) that was first climbed in 2009. (Photo Guy Robertson)

    Guy Robertson and Uisdean Hawthorn visited An Teallach on February 25. “We thought we’d struck gold,” Guy told me. “With what looked like perfect conditions it was a pretty easy walk up into Glas Tholl. However we were soon put in our place by almost un-climbable snow/graupel on the approach to routes higher up.

    We tried to get up into The Alley for a look at the Last Orders area, but ground to a halt in the face of possible death by avalanche. Then we went round to try Hayfork Gully but saw that Wailing Wall was black! Third time lucky, and we settled for a strong line of corners and grooves just left of the right edge of Minor Rib. This gave us two long and sustained pitches of VII in a great position up to a junction with the original route on this buttress. Great to see young Uisdean stepping away from the simple pleasures of cruising up sticky ice to do some awkward, pokey scratching around on snowy north west sandstone!”

    Greg Boswell just after his spectacular his ten-metre fall from Banana Wall (XII,12) in Coire an Lochain in the Northern Corries. After lowering down for a rest, Boswell then led the route on his second attempt that day. The only other winter route graded XII in Scotland is Anubis on Ben Nevis that was climbed by Dave MacLeod in 2010. (Photo Masa Sakano)

    Greg Boswell just after his spectacular his ten-metre fall from Banana Wall (XII,12) in Coire an Lochain in the Northern Corries. After lowering down for a rest, Boswell then led the route on his second attempt that day. The only other winter route graded XII in Scotland is Anubis on Ben Nevis that was climbed by Dave MacLeod in 2010. (Photo Masa Sakano)

    Greg Boswell and Masa Sakano made climbing history on February 25 with the first ascent of Banana Wall. This continuously sustained route takes the overhanging wall between Fallout Corner and Bavarinthia in Coire an Lochain on Cairn Gorm.

    The route was graded XII,12 and is only the second winter route in Scotland ever to be given a Grade XII rating.

    “Banana Wall has literally been eating away at me since 2011 when Guy and I first spotted it,” Greg told me. “I’ve been in to try it twice previously but down climbed from about eight metres both times after being way too scared to push on due to the steepness and lack of obvious gear! I rapped the route on my second day in, to try it to see if it would be safe to continue upwards, but due to the route being so steep, I was hanging in space from the word go and got very little info or feedback of what was to come! I was obsessed with keeping as much of the adventure alive as possible so I’m glad the abseil didn’t give me any real beta, it just got me more psyched to try the route. There was absolutely no practicing of moves or testing placements as I was free hanging eight metres from the crag at times when I rapped down.

    I went up with Masa Sakano as he agreed to belay me for the day and second me if I got it (which I didn’t think I would do on Wednesday). On my first go I failed high on the wall and took a ten-metre whipper into space when my axe ripped (pretty scary). I lowered off and had lunch and then got it on my second attempt of the day. Finishing the second (much easier) pitch in the dark and storm winds with one headtorch between us – what an amazing adventure!

    The route is crazy steep and the protection is there if you can hang on long enough to place it! The headwall was a bit run out and I got pretty scared trying to get onto the belay ledge!

    I’m going with the grade of XII,12 as it is super sustained, very steep and the gear is there if you’re fit! It is by far the most sustained thing I’ve done in Scotland, and there are three roofs to contend with as you make your way up the wall.”

    Greg has been on fire this season, leading the crux sections of his magnificent hat trick of new routes with Guy Robertson. These were ground breaking in themselves, but Banana Wall raises the bar yet higher. Greg considers Banana Wall to be M11, which makes it one of the most difficult technical mixed routes ever led by placing the gear on the lead.

    Ally MacAskill on the first ascent of the excellent Oneicicle (V,5) in Coire a’Bhasterir on Skye. This was one of 20 new routes climbed during the two-week long Skye Winter Climbing Festival in late January to early February. (Photo Mike Lates)

    Mike Lates on the first ascent of the excellent-looking Onceicle (V,5) in Coire a’Bhasteir on Skye. This was one of 20 new routes climbed during the two-week long Skye Winter Climbing Festival in late January to early February. (Ally MacAskill)

    Several folks have commented that I left a bit of a teaser about the Skye Winter Climbing Festival following my post about Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. The festival was an outstanding success with over 20 new routes and only one day of climbing lost to the weather. Mike Lates, Skye guide supremo, and organiser of the Festival, has kindly provided the following report.

    “The fifth Skye Winter Climbing Festival expanded this year to two weeks instead of a long weekend,” Mike writes. “It was a bit of a gamble, but it paid off big style with participants and the weather all playing their part. We were forced to move away from the Glen Brittle Memorial hut because of their renovations and moving next door to a pub sounded dangerous!

    The aim has always been to demonstrate that Skye should not be written off for winter climbing. Historically it has suffered because of a general obsession with the much-hyped Winter Traverse and a very slow realisation that the Cuillin offers superb mixed climbing. Ironically, the fickle weather that makes a huge undertaking like the Traverse unlikely, is precisely what technical Cuillin climbing needs, and boy did this year prove it!

    Ironically this year has seen more ice than I’ve ever known – I’d even placed more Cuillin screws before Christmas than any previous season’s total. More ice formed hugely early January but I was gutted to see it diminish a couple of days beforehand. Tim Oates and Michael Barnard were just sharp enough to snatch the big ice pitch of Here Today, Gone Tomorrow (IV,4) on Day 1 of the festival (January 24) but the following day saw all but the highest ice destroyed in a tropical storm.

    The skies cleared overnight and the next day (January 26) saw Rory and Malcom Morris, Craig Rennie and Dylan Coutts add two new lines on Thuilm; the first called Generous Gully (I) because I’d pointed it out to them as an obvious target.

    We went into Coir’ a’Bhasteir on Wednesday (January 28) to discover huge fat ice on the back wall behind the lochan that had definitely not been there on Monday. Our conclusion was that a slurry of slush had just sunk down the wall and stuck solid. Many of the new arrivals over the next few days had little or no ice experience and these walls provided a selection of superb 50m lines for folk to try their hand.

    Friday (January 30) started OK but degenerated into a mega-storm that I was glad to see everyone return from. Four of us climbed the right-hand of two prominent lines that had often form thinly but always remained elusive. Word-meister (Mak Francis) Beads concluded it should be called Twicicle (IV,5).

    At the opposite end of the Ridge James Sutton was doing battle on Con’s Cleft (E1) with his brother Doug using tools for the first time and Ben Weir presumably shouting advice from below the overhang! They were stopped 25m from the top and it was my pleasure (Type 2 at times) to head back with James on the Sunday (February 1) to complete the ascent. I’ve limited experience, but thought VII,7 was James being pretty conservative.

    Michael Barnard was back on the Saturday (January 31), this time with Josh, and, again, he mopped up. South Gully on South Crag is pretty low lying and had been on my ambition list. The guys did another shorter route too. Next day he was beside us on the Alasdair cliffs on a really good looking icy groove-line which they named Skye High and gave it V,7. Monday (February 2) was the first day with little wind and Ally MacAskill and I headed back into Coir’ a’Bhasteir and thoroughly enjoyed steep ice on Onceicle (V,5).

    Tuesday (February 3) saw a split across the island with a huge dump stopping abruptly south of Sligachan. Fiona Murry and Alison Coull committed to the swim into the Bhasteir icefalls on their second attempt but were rewarded with Making Memories (V,6) on Garbh-bheinn the next day. I’d been into this virgin cliff twice before but never had any joy. It’s an unusually vegetated gabbro cliff but Wednesday February 4 saw it dripping with ice and frozen turf and none of Tuesday’s snow! Mo Barclay, Stuart Leonard and I grabbed the first good-looking line leading to a tight crux chimney with a crucial chockstone. Full of character we thought Chockolates was worthy of two stars at V,6. Stuart from Hong Kong and came up with the perfect name for another route we snatched before dark – Yat for the Doh translates as One for the Road. James also snatched the third ascent of The Smear (V) that day as consolation for backing off Deep Gash Gully, again with his very game brother.

    The following day everything seemed to be running and dripping in Coir’ a’Mhadaidh but Murdo and Beads found Farcicle (V,5) still user friendly in the fridge that is Coir’ a’Bhasteir. This point was further exaggerated the following day when Francis and John found the North West Face Route (III) on Gillean in stunning nick as they climbed up above the clouds while everyone else headed south.

    This incomplete summary focuses largely on new route highlights but there was much more activity with teams on established routes, wandering the corries, getting excited on the ridges and peaks. My favourite memory was stood on the balcony of the bunkhouse, listening to the ice cracking as we watched the full moon light up the Cuillin at the far end of the loch. And finally, huge thanks to the staff and locals at the Old Inn for making us all so welcome. We’ll be back!”

    The entry for The Shroud in the Nevisport New Routes book. The great hanging icefall of The Shroud on the North Wall of Carn Dearg is one of the most sought after pure ice routes on Ben Nevis. It is not often in condition, but this year it has had several ascents with even left-hand and right-hand versions available. The first ascent by Andy Clarke and John Main on 2 February 1993 was particularly bold, as the free-hanging ice fang did not connect with the belay ledge. (Photo Colin Moody)

    The entry for The Shroud in the Nevisport New Routes book. The great hanging icefall of The Shroud (VI,6) on the North Wall of Carn Dearg is one of the most sought after pure ice routes on Ben Nevis. It is not often in condition, but this year it has had several ascents with even left-hand and right-hand versions available. The original description reveals that the first ascent by Andy Clarke and John Main on 2 February 1993 was particularly bold, as the free-hanging ice fang did not connect with the belay ledge. (Photo Colin Moody)

    In today’s Internet and Social Media world, it is interesting to reflect that only a few years ago, news about new routes was passed around by word of mouth. As is the case today, significant events were highlighted in climbing magazines, and most new route descriptions made their way into club journals such as the SMCJ, but there could be a lag of over a year before a description was published and folk were aware that a route had been climbed.

    Many climbing shops in the UK hosted new routes books, which allowed a more rapid sharing of information. Colin Moody has done a fantastic job photographing  two volumes of the Fort William Nevisport New Routes book and making them available on his blog. It captures many of the important developments in the 1980s and 1990s in the Western Highlands.

    “Recording of routes was often done soon after the events (sometimes the same day) so these books were considered good sources of up to date information,” Colin explains on his blog. “They have been held by many grubby hands. I was told that for University John Redhead did a study of how long after people went into Pete’s Eats they wrote up their routes!

    The Nevisport books in Fort William were mostly for nearby Glen Nevis but also covered climbs from the Outer Hebrides, Skye, Creag Dubh and the rest, even a few central belt routes. Winter climbs on Ben Nevis, Creag Meagaidh and others were written up. Many routes (especially short ones) were never sent in for the SMC Journal, I’ve noticed a few routes that never made it into the guidebooks. Andy MacDonald has kept these books and let me borrow and copy them, unfortunately an earlier book has gone missing.”

    Well done to Colin for taking the initiative to make this material available for all. I for one, have enjoyed browsing the pages and sensing the immediacy and first-hand nature of the reports.

    Several other new routes books throughout the UK few can be viewed at rockarchivist.co.uk

    Keith Ball climbing the second pitch of The Crack (VIII,8) on Ben Nevis. The route follows an inverted staircase of overhanging steps up the centre of the front face of Raeburn’s Buttress. The crack line cutting through the second step can be seen directly above Keith’s arm. (Photo Dave Rudkin)

    Keith Ball climbing the second pitch of The Crack (VIII,8) on Ben Nevis. The route follows an inverted staircase of overhanging steps up the centre of the front face of Raeburn’s Buttress. The crack line cutting through the second step can be seen directly above Keith’s arm. (Photo Dave Rudkin)

    Dave Rudkin and Keith Ball notched up an important repeat on Ben Nevis on February 21 when they made the second ascent of The Crack (VIII,8). This HVS summer line takes the striking crack system running up the front face of Raeburn’s Buttress. Due to its steepness it is rarely in condition, and Dave and Keith chose to attempt it directly after a heavy snowfall. The Crack was the most difficult of the 30 or so new winter lines that Chris Cartwright and I added to Ben Nevis over a ten-year period from the mid-1990s. It’s great that almost 15 years to the day, it has seen another ascent!

    “Keith and I have been up in Scotland working for PYB,” Dave explained. “We have managed to climb some of the classic ice routes on Carn Dearg on our days off, which has been fantastic; firstly we climbed The Shield Direct (with Matt Stygall), then Gemini, The Shroud and finally The Bewildabeast. This weekend we thought the mixed climbing would be good so headed back up that way.  From the CIC hut we carefully negotiated the slopes below Carn Dearg until below The Crack. What a brilliant route! Strenuous and sustained as you say in the guide, I even managed to drop a few hand jams into rimed up cracks – pure joy!  We climbed the difficulties in four pitches but went directly up the chimney (which required a very awkward move to get started) for the fourth pitch instead of traversing [and climbing parallel on the] right as you did on the first ascent.

    I’ve added some photos, and hope they bring back some good memories.  I’m glad I didn’t have leashes on!”

    Steve Holmes leading the initial corner of Inception (V,7) on Ben Nevis. This technical mixed follows a line of grooves and chimneys in the Fawlty Towers area of Secondary Tower Ridge. (Photo Duncan Curry)

    Steve Holmes leading the initial corner of Inception (V,7) on Ben Nevis. This technical mixed route follows a line of grooves and chimneys in the Fawlty Towers area of Secondary Tower Ridge. (Photo Duncan Curry)

    On February 17 Steve Holmes and Duncan Curry added a good mixed route to Secondary Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. The 95m-long Inception (V,7) climbs the left edge of the inset area of crag between Douglas Gap West Gully and the start of 1934 Route. This area is best known for Fawlty Towers, a popular Grade III outing when the weather is poor. Inception starts 15m up West Gully, and lies directly opposite the start of the South-West Ridge on the Douglas Boulder, below a left-facing corner ramp. The route climbs the well-defined initial corner, a constricted chimney followed by a cracked wall to finish up another chimney and snowy grooves to reach the crest of Tower Ridge.

    The day before (February 16), Pete Harrison and Tom Livingstone scored a notable repeat with the third ascent of Heidbanger (VIII,8) on Central Trident Buttress. “We both thought the route was very good,” Pete told me. “We reckon it’s worth two stars because it’s fairly short, but it has excellent quality climbing. The first pitch is steep to start then a bit strenuous up the wide crack, and is fairly well protected. The second pitch is beautiful face climbing on small edges – teetery, but with good wires where needed. The third pitch was an icefall… We both thought VIII 8 was spot on, and not soft!”

    Dave McGimpsey on the first ascent of Bolero (V,5) in Coire nan Eun in the Fannaichs. This mid-height north-facing crag has been proved to be a good location for middle grade ice routes this season. (Photo Andy Nisbet)

    Dave McGimpsey on the first ascent of Bolero (V,5) in Coire nan Eun in the Fannaichs. This mid-height north-facing crag has been proved to be a good location for middle grade ice routes this season. (Photo Andy Nisbet)

    “After such good conditions on Mullach nan Rathain but the rest of the north-west with little snow, and reports of bare rock in the Cairngorms, somewhere kind of middling was needed,” writes Andy Nisbet. “Coire nan Eun in the Fannaichs might just do the job, so Dave McGimpsey and I gave it a go on Sunday February 15. The forecast was for increasing wind so an early start (by our standards) was made. The plan was that the wind would blow our bikes up the road and get us to the crag, then we’d be sheltered on the north facing cliff and once we’d done a route, it didn’t matter what hit us for the way home.

    The only snag (but one we could handle) is that it seemed a nice day and there wasn’t much wind to blow us up. Garbh Choire Mor seemed a bit bare but it gets the sun, so our crag would be fine. Which it was until we walked along the approach terrace and couldn’t see any snow or ice. Plans A and B were completely bare, so improvised plan C of climbing some easy ice at the right end of the crag would have to do. But when we got there and looked at the route descriptions, there was a tempting but very steep corner that held a strip of ice. Then we realised that the existing route Bunny Boiler climbed the second ice line from the left and the steep corner was the first. So why not give it a go? At least I’d had early morning thoughts and added an ice screw to the rack at the last minute.

    There was an easy introductory pitch leading to the corner; maybe we should solo it. But we decided to put the rope on and it turned out to be much steeper than it looked. Which of course made the corner even steeper and rather intimidating. But there was a fine horizontal crack in the perfect place for a belay, so no excuses really.

    I set off up the corner with the odd position of climbing pure ice but with bare rock either side. The right side was completely smooth but the left side soon gave a bridge and a good runner. Back up the ice and a spiral bulge called for the ice screw. Some strenuous moves up from this led to another bridging ledge on the left. It turned out I could actually step left and just rest on a strange perch with a nice crack for runners. Back on to the ice, now a little hollow, but a couple of moves not kicking too hard soon solved this. The finish was up a hidden gully on to the windy plateau.

    One of the nicest features of this crag is the easy descent, although a southerly wind didn’t allow us the normal free wheel on the bikes back to the car. The recent routes here have dance names, but since this had been an ice dance, the name Bolero (V,5) seemed appropriate.”

    Uisdean Hawthorn linking pitches 1 and 2 during an early repeat of Extasy (VIII,8) on Creag Meagaidh’s Pinnacle Buttress. This rarely in condition route was first climbed by Dave Hesleden and Bruno Sourzac in 2005 and is one of Scotland’s most sought after ice climbs. (Photo Iain Small)

    Uisdean Hawthorn linking pitches 1 and 2 during an early repeat of Extasy (VIII,8) on Creag Meagaidh’s Pinnacle Buttress. This rarely in condition route was first climbed by Dave Hesleden and Bruno Sourzac in 2005 and is one of Scotland’s most sought after ice climbs. (Photo Iain Small)

    Uisdean Hawthorn teamed up with Iain Small and Murdoch Jamieson to complete a remarkable double on Creag Meagaidh last week (February 12 -13). Uisdean takes up the story:

    “Having got down from doing Han Solo on the Ben, I sat in the van, checked the weather and then texted Iain Small to see if he was about on Thursday. He quickly responded saying he and Blair were headed to see if The Fly Direct (VII,6) was there, and I was welcome to join them.

    When we got to the loch the next morning we could see the crag looked good with lots of white lines streaking down the cliff.

    The Fly Direct was in good condition apart from a sugary section on the first pitch, which Iain skilfully picked his way past. We did it in five long pitches making for a fairly quick fun ascent. I had arranged to go out with Murdoch Jamieson on Friday and Iain decided to join, as Extasy (VIII,8) was looking incredibly icy so we stashed the gear decided to come back for that.

    The next day the three of us were buzzing with excitement as we geared up below the crag. We wondered whether we could link pitches 1 and 2 together and thought our ropes would reach. So I set off, on what turned out to be an extremely interesting pitch! I picked my way up the features weaving from icy corner to steep ice onto the icy slab then up a turfy groove. I even got to place my first warthog (my joinery apprenticeship coming in handy), which was the only gear for the last 20m. And thankfully I had enough rope to reach the ledge

    Iain and Murdoch both led the their pitches very well. Iain’s had a very delicate bold step to gain an ice ramp, and Murdoch’s a steep committing mixed corner. Me being indecisive and description inaccuracies meant an easy 20m pitch took longer than it should have. That left a long pitch to the top with a few hard steps, which Iain took in his stride leaving us grinning at the top still in daylight. [This was the fourth ascent of Extasy].

    I would have been delighted to climb just one off these routes in a season but to climb them both in two days, after doing a new route on Ben Nevis the day before, left me on a high and loving Scottish ice, and wondering why would anyone want to climb anywhere else.”

    “I’m not sure how our first two pitches on Extasy relate to the original description but we definitely climbed the original pitch four corner on our third pitch,” Iain explained. “I had arranged a day out with Blair on Thursday [February 12] and driving up Uisdean got in contact about joining us. I reckoned The Fly Direct would be a good bet and Blair was very keen for this rare classic. Also it would give me a chance to scope out conditions on the crag for Friday with Murdoch and Uisdean. The Fly lived up to its reputation and descending we got to check out Extasy. The face was teeming with ice and we could pick a line of grooves and ramps that led to the corner pitch. So we were back next day and with cooler conditions helping we had a great climb, giving the old warthogs a rare day out!”