Murdo Jamieson and Martin Moran had a great day on Beinn Eighe on Monday January 23 with the first winter ascent of Rudolf (VIII,8/9) on the Far East Wall.
“Conditions were just right after three days of humid cool weather,” Martin told me. “It was well worth the wait after a long fallow period since Christmas. We reckon the route was near the top end of Grade VIII but not quite Grade IX, very comparable to but slightly more sustained than The Needle. I think the game will have to move on to the E3s to get a definite winter IX on Beinn Eighe; the protection on quartzite is just too good! Murdo thought it a full grade harder than Pic’n Mix which he’d done in friendly conditions the previous week.
Having done a few routes now on Beinn Eighe my graded list would be:
Pale Rider VIII,9
King of the Swingers VIII,10
Feast of the East VIII,9
Blood, Sweat and Frozen Tears VII,8
It may seem strange that an VIII,8 should be harder than an VIII,10 but that’s how the grading system should work with the real challenge given by the first number!”