Pete Benson, Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson succeeded on an excellent technical new route on Lochnagar yesterday before the thaw set in.
“We climbed the obvious groove line parallel to and left of Footloose on Central Buttress to give Fancy Free (VII,9),” Guy told me. “We had intended on bigger things, but the state of the snowpack was such that we couldn’t proceed past the first aid box (there was a good metre of wet slab sitting on a further two layers below!).
Pete took us up the first pitch of Mantichore, from where I led a short traverse left to climb a short and very technical corner to enter the main groove line. Fortunately, the protection in the corner was fail-safe as the climbing was extremely precarious (we all fell off!). Greg then took the reigns and swiftly dispatched the big groove, which provided an outstanding third pitch.
I’ve had my eye on the line for long enough, so nice to get it done. It’s an excellent little test piece, which will be in condition with a freeze, and dusting of snow, so it should get some attention I reckon. It’s useful to have good climbing that is accessible in the most treacherous of avalanche conditions.”