Chris Pasteur and Simon Yearsley had a good day in Eilde Canyon and on Sron na Lairig in Glen Coe on February 3.
“We managed to get out on Friday, before the warm front came in, and went up to Eilde Canyon, in the hope that the previous few days had helped things form,” Simon told me. “Interestingly, some lines hadn’t formed much at all (e.g. Andale Andale, Aye Carumba), but lots of the lines were there, and probably climbable (e.g. right hand 3 Amigos, Zapatista, Primero Pool)…. but the problem was the ice wasn’t thick enough to guarantee good protection in the way of screws. It was a very beautiful day, and we weren’t feeling super-brave, so we decided to wander up the rest of the canyon and found Por Que, a very pleasant grade III about 100m up from the pool, and then also did Palenque (III) which I’d mentioned in my older topo as the unclimbed easier angled ice on the left just above the pool.
We then went up to the summit buttress of Sron na Lairig, and climbed Return (V,6) which is a 60m line on to the left of the routes we did last year. In fact, Neil Silver and I backed off this line on the same day as climbing The Slot, because I stupidly dropped an axe whilst seconding. So I was determined to return, and found a slightly more direct way of starting the route which meant it can be done in one pitch and which finishes in an excellent position right on the narrowest part of the Sron na Lairig ridge.
It was nice to go back to Eilde Canyon and find it wasn’t just a product of last year’s awesome winter. It does re-affirm my belief that there’s a strong link between conditions in Eilde Canyon and Beinn Udlaidh, as folk were reporting some of the routes on Beinn Udlaidh as being ‘in’ but also as ‘bold & thin’.”
Simon has updated his Eilde Canyon topo, which can be found on his blog.