Once in a Blue Moon

Simon Richardson on the first ascent of Once in a Blue Moon (VII,7), Glen Esk. (Photo Henning Wackerhage)

Glen Esk on the eastern side of the Cairngorms is rarely frequented by winter climbers due to its low altitude. On December 27 Duncan Tunstall and Andy Nisbet were quick off the mark with the first ascent of the prominent 250m-high Maskeldie Buttress (III,4), which dominates the skyline as you walk up the glen along Loch Lee.

Yesterday (December 30) I teamed up with Duncan and Henning Wackerhage to make the first ascent of Once in a Blue Moon (VII,7), the prominent steep buttress to the right of Unich Gully. Few people would believe that a new eight pitch Grade VII could lie within 30 miles of the city limits of Aberdeen, but this winter is opening up the most unlikely of possibilities.

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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