Southern Comfort

The superlative line of Southern Comfort (IV,5) in Coire Lagan, Skye. This five pitch-long route climbs the icy gully bounding the right side of South Buttress. This was the second major new route in the Cuillin climbed by Mike Lates over the space of three days. (Topo Mike Lates)

Some late news…

On December 18, Mike Lates and Matthew Holmes added the 240m-long Southern Comfort (IV,5) to Coire Lagan in the Cuillin. This significant addition, which is similar in difficulty and stature to White Lies (IV,5 – Lates/Francis/Wear) on Sgurr nan Gillean, is a serious outing. After the fifth pitch, there is a further 100m of climbing up an exposed narrow ridge before easier ground and crest of Sgurr Dearg is gained just to the west of the Inaccessible Pinnacle.

“It would probably be similar in grade (IV,5) without the ice,” Mike told me. “And still a good adventure, but four full pitches without touching rock after the approach pitch was real quality. The topo shows the approach and first two pitches with the crux at the really narrow point. Above here, the ice is hidden on the right, but gave the best climbing. The narrow ridge leading to the Inn Pinn is very airy and no walkover. The week before Christmas was one of the best I’ve known up here. It was just amazing to get two long ice routes in the Cuillin!”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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