Various parties have been exploring the mica schist crags of Glen Esk in the Southern Cairngorms over the last few winters, and on Saturday January 8, Andy Nisbet and Duncan Tunstall had a great visit to Bruntwood Craig at the head of the glen.
They added the 150m-long Gro’lryc Gully (V,5), the steeper and better defined left branch of the Y-shaped gully in the centre of the cliff and Avatar (III), a well defined gully on the right side of the crag.
“It was a lovely day after overnight snow,” Andy told me. “Gro’lryc Gully was a total surprise. I chose the first main pitch thinking it would be steep and technical, with Duncan getting the easier ice. As the name hints, it was so much the opposite that you would never have believed it. The route Avatar was even better quality at its grade, never steep but continuous thin ice – it would be very hard under powder and a doddle under neve but you take what you get!”