Glen Esk Explorations

Duncan Tunstall treading gently on the 45m-long crux pitch of Gro’lryc Gully in Glen Esk. Steep and fragile ice meant the climbing was worth VI,5 on the day, but the route was graded V,5 assuming better conditions. (Photo Andy Nisbet)

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!”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
This entry was posted in New Routes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.