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    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!”

    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.”

    Michael Barnard climbing the line of Shear Fear (VI,5) on Ben Nevis. This steep two-pitch line on the west side of Tower Ridge provides a direct finish to Vanishing Gully. (Photo John MacLeod)

    Michael Barnard climbing the line of Shear Fear (VI,5) on Ben Nevis. This steep two-pitch line on the west side of Tower Ridge provides a direct finish to Vanishing Gully. (Photo John MacLeod)

    Michael Barnard and John MacLeod climbed a possible new ice route on Ben Nevis on February 14. “We climbed the obvious icefall overlooking the easier upper gully of 1934 Route, which makes a good finale to Vanishing Gully,” Michael told me. “I guess it could have been done before, but I can’t find any record. We called it Shear Fear and graded it VI,5. It’s often thin, and would be at least a grade easier with thicker ice.”

    As Michael says, this is a very obvious feature (when formed) and it makes a natural finish to Vanishing Gully. Michael is absolutely correct that there is no published record of a route hereabouts, but I seem to recall a description in the CIC Hut Book of an ascent by (I think) an Italian party.

    I’ll have a look at the hut book again when I’m next in the CIC, but in the meantime, if anybody knows of an ascent of this excellent-looking line, the please get in touch or leave a comment.

    Steve Perry finishing up the ridge crest after the first ascent of Batman (VI,7) on the Northern Pinnacles face of Mullach nan Rathain on Liathach. The main summit of Liathach (Spidean a’Choire Leith) is behind. (Photo Andy Nisbet)

    Steve Perry finishing up the ridge crest after the first ascent of Batman (VI,7) on the Northern Pinnacles face of Mullach nan Rathain on Liathach. The main summit of Liathach (Spidean a’Choire Leith) is behind. (Photo Andy Nisbet)

    “Ice conditions have been great,” writes Andy Nisbet. “But the long mild spell in the North-West went on and on. Finally a colder day was forecast for February 13, but with rain and gales. A couple of days ago the forecast changed slightly and the low pressure was due to track further south, with the wind switching into the south-east. It took some faith and ignoring cautious mountain forecasts to realise that the north-west was actually going to have good weather. But would there be any ice left?

    Driving into Torridon with Steve Perry, you would have thought not. There were some incomplete streaks on the Pyramid [on the south side of Liathach] but otherwise just patches. What a change from snow down to the road and wading up just eight days ago. Still, we’d driven over so might as well go as high as possible and at least see if the turf was still frozen; it was a lovely day after all. It’s lucky we even took climbing gear. The first sign of hope was when we had to put crampons on at about 850m, but then we reached the ridge and looked across at the Northern Pinnacles face of Mullach nan Rathain, and wow!

    Every ledge was white with the tell-tale grey fringe of ice at its base. Every groove was filled with ice; it had obviously been the right altitude for thaw and freeze. While the rest of the corrie was bare apart from a few ice streaks, this face just looked as good as you can get. We descended into the corrie on neve and headed for the right face of a ridge called Holy Ghost. I climbed Holy Ghost with clients in 1996, but although the finish was great, I was aware that the start was avoiding the main difficulties. Now it was time to bite the bullet.

    We geared up in a big wind scoop at the base and I set off up the supposedly easy first pitch. I was soon surprised by a tricky move but there was enough momentum to keep going. It probably would have been sensible to belay on a terrace but I kept going through a big turn right and climbed a shallow chimney to a ledge above Trinity Gully Right-Hand, which looked in great nick apart from a substantial chockstone which was iced but looked about Tech 5. It must need a big build-up to be Grade III,3.

    Steve joined me below a wide crack with a smear of ice down its right wall. We didn’t have the sharpest gear (again) but I don’t mind thin ice (as long as it’s not too steep), so I kept the lead up excellent quality ice until the groove above turned very steep. With the advantage of having studied photos, I knew to move right and pull up an awkward wall to reach a very unlikely position on a ledge with overhangs above and below. The rock on this ledge looked awful, but with everything frozen hard, my three belay points felt adequate.

    It was Steve’s turn to pull over a bulge on to an inset ledge and gain a reassuring crack we could see from below. When I first arrived at the stance, the next step right looked wild. But after I’d been there for a while, I became convinced that it was all in balance. It was somewhere in between of course, but it took Steve a while to convince himself that it could work. A peg runner of middling quality did help a lot but the ice placements were all to the right and footholds all to the left (there being mid air for the feet to the right). A final commitment looked hopeful but an axe popped out of the thin ice and he tested the peg. It rotated in the crack but held (just I presume). Some more wellying of the peg and time for another go. This time it worked and he was onto better ice overlaying turf, an ideal combination. The rope speeded up the best ice he’d ever climbed (but he wasn’t on Ben Nevis in April 2002) and he reached the crest of the ridge.

    That left me a lovely pitch up the crest of the ridge, common to Holy Ghost, and the crest of the Northern Pinnacle ridge above its difficulties. We strolled up to Mullach nan Rathain for food and brilliant views. It was just one of those special days. Grading was hard, and with sharp tools VI,6 might have been right. But conditions were a bit special and less ice would have made it technically harder probably with better gear. So we settled for VI,7 and the name Batman, which I seem to remember is why the ridge was called Holy Smoke.”

    The line of Navigator (VI,6) on Stob a’Choire Mheadhoin. This very secluded cliff can only be seen from the West Highland Railway or from the summit ridge of Meall Garbh (another rarely visited winter venue). (Archive Photo Andy Nisbet)

    Andy Nisbet, Steve Perry and Dan Bailey added an excellent new route to Stob a’ Choire Mheadhoin in the Central Highlands on February 11. Andy takes up the story:

    “Is it cheating to climb with three axes? So Steve Perry asked in the middle of the crux section. The jury of Dan Bailey and myself on the ledge below decided it wasn’t. It could only be a question from the leashless era, as Steve had fallen some 10m when a large block pulled and he ended up with no axes. Fortunately one of them landed up beside us but the other was well up the pitch. Having lowered a loop of rope for the lower one, and then again to borrow mine, the third was retrieved and the pitch successfully climbed, sustained turfy grooves that could only be linked with a bit of guile.

    Actually we’d done well to be there at all, having rather missed the inversion weather and replacing it with whiteout. We were on Stob a’Choire Mheadhoin at a crag you can only see from the railway, hence its neglect until Mike Geddes soloed an unknown route there in an unknown year, and I heard about it posthumously. I had climbed there in 2000 and several times in 2013 but have never heard of anyone else visiting the cliff. The approach to the cliff is from above at a break in the cornice where the ridge to its summit changes direction. Fortunately I realised that we had changed direction and must have passed the break, which is about 50m long.

    Next challenge was to find the cliff, and then the route – the descent was diagonal across steep snow. Now it was completely white and we edged our way down, feeling for each step in case of losing balance; it would have been a terminal slide on hard snow. After a while, Dan thought he spotted some a dark shape ahead; was it the cliff? It turned out it was, but where on a big cliff. Again fortunately, the snow conditions were very similar to those in a photo I’d brought with me, so we soon picked out that we were at three rocks shown in my photo. And it wasn’t difficult to find the start of the route, an iced groove.

    After a suggestion to solo it was turned down by the others, I felt very happy with that decision as I led it, reaching the second pitch of my projected line. Unfortunately the small gap in the ice on my photo turned out to be a 6 foot roof but there was a good looking line to its left, albeit with a bulging start. Steve took over and despite a commentary of suggestions from the belayers as to how to climb it, managed to work out a sequence, which the seconders didn’t use. Higher up, it was much steeper than it looked (when isn’t it), but he cracked it despite the airtime.

    The third pitch turned out to be much easier and very icy (I’m good at planning these things) and left Steve with an innocent looking chimney-crack. It very much wasn’t easy but Steve led it with some precarious bridging and occasional watch me comments while I seconded it using a more old fashioned method. As on previous routes, our line felt pretty substantial and we gave it 150m VI,6, provisionally named Navigator. The return to the car even includes the Munro and the excellent walking conditions saved some torch battery life.”