On Saturday January 29, John Lyall and Andy Nisbet made the first winter ascent of Penguin (VS 4c), which takes a flake-crack on the right side of Flake Buttress on Coire Sputan Dearg.
“As I made a fierce layback over the initial bulge and reached to jam my pick behind a flake, it came loose and my axes skidded two feet down the crack,” Andy told me. “Fortunately they held and so did my feet, with brand new crampons just above John’s shoulder. The adrenaline helped me layback more fiercely without reaching and the bulge was passed. A further smooth section only needed a brief layback before reaching a jammed block and then it was just a case of hoping helpful thin flakes didn’t break off. So [with apologies to Batman] the evil Penguin didn’t get his own way, nor did The Joker nearby and the ‘Dynamic Duo’ climbed the route.”