Fast and Solo in The Fannaichs

The left side of Sgurr Mor in the Fannaichs showing the two new routes recently climbed by Martin Hind. Blue: Happy Ravens (III,4); Pink: Gelid Groove (III,4); Red: Blue Sky Thinking (III,4). (Archive Photo Martin Hind)

The left side of Sgurr Mor in the Fannaichs showing the two new routes recently climbed by Martin Hind. Blue: Happy Ravens (III,4); Pink: Gelid Groove (III,4); Red: Blue Sky Thinking (III,4). (Archive Photo Martin Hind)

Taking advantage of the recent icy conditions, Martin Hind has added a couple of new routes to Sgurr Mor in the Fannaichs.

“As I don’t like carrying heavy sacks I decided to travel light with no gear on these visits,” Martin explained. “Both trips involved cycling up to the track end above the pipeline and going up to the small dam above Loch Droma. On the first visit [February 24] when I did Blue Sky Thinking, the clag was in and down to the corrie floor, and I assumed the obvious ice line leading up on the left wall of Easter Gully was Gelid Groove. Only later did I find out that Gelid Groove was much further left. There was a good ice pitch to start up which I led up to a steepening. I wasn’t brave enough to solo this, so I came back down and went up an ice channel to the right. Another short pitch led onto snowfields above to the top. Blue Sky Thinking was about III,4.

Now that I knew where Gelid Groove was, it was obvious that there was potential for another line, Happy Ravens [climbed on March 1] had three ice pitches with increasing difficulty. It was most enjoyable and a similar grade to BST at about III,4. The round trip from the road was 4hrs 35mins, so the crag is not as remote as suggested in the guidebook!”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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2 Responses to Fast and Solo in The Fannaichs

  1. Martin Hind says:

    Rob Brynairski did the direct start of Blue Sky Thinking a few days later after my ascent. Should have just manned up and got on with it! Well done Rob.

  2. Simon Richardson says:

    Hi Simon

    Tim Chappell comments: I don’t know how to add a Comment to your blog–I was just going to remark on the Fast and Solo in the The Fannaichs topo that all three of those routes were still in brilliant nick when I walked past them to ski the Fannaichs ridge on Easter Saturday. If anything they were fatter than in the picture from mid-March. If you think that comment’s worth adding, please do!

    Cheers
    Tim

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