Revisiting the Third Man

Helen Rennard leading the crux corner of The Third Man (IV,6) in Coire an Lochain. This excellent route, is a direct version of Sidewinder on the front face of No.4 Buttress, but is not climbed as often as the more well known routes on the cliff. (Photo Andy Nisbet)

Andy Nisbet and Helen Rennard notched up their first winter ascents of the season with an ascent of The Third Man (IV,6) on the Northern Corries, on Thursday October 20. This was the first time that Andy had climbed the route since making the first ascent with Sandy Allan some 28 years ago.

Andy Nisbet has an incomparable Scottish winter record. His first new route was way back in 1975, and since then he has climbed well over a thousand new winter routes. He is still as active as ever, making dozens of first ascents each season, in all corners of the Highlands. Many of these climbs are of the highest quality, and have shaped the nature of Scottish winter climbing as we know it today. One has to look to the pioneering records of Patrick Gabarrou in the Alps, or Fred Beckey in North America, to find anything comparable on a world scale.

It is tempting to think that Andy’s Scottish winter record can never be bettered, but who knows? As winter climbing gains more popularity, and shorter, more technical mixed routes gain increasing acceptance, the opportunities in the Scottish mountains are limitless. It will of course, take talent and vision supplemented by unbounded dedication and drive.


About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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