Every now and then something pops into my mailbox for scottishwinter.com that is both completely unexpected and winter climbing gold dust. The attached topo of Church Door Buttress on Bidean nan Bian is a case in point. Malcolm Bass provides the background:
“For years Simon Yearsley and I have been talking about how useful it would be to have good topo of Church Door Buttress. It’s a multi-faceted, two-tiered cliff, and it isn’t easy to keep track of where all the new routes go. But talking was about as far as we got until I bumped into Iain Small a couple of weeks ago at the CIC Hut. Helen Rennard was there too, so we spoke about The Prentice Pillar, and that gave me a great opportunity to get onto my Church Door topo hobbyhorse.
I thought no more of it until a few days later when an email from Iain arrived with a draft Church Door topo. This was just what was needed to get things moving: Iain has been involved in the majority of the new routes on the crag in the last decade. The next challenge was for Simon and I to remember and agree where our 2000 route Dark Mass went. That done, Simon was able to pull all the information together into this neatly laid out topo, and bring several years of idle chatter to a surprisingly fruitful conclusion!”
A fantastic topo, always wanted to know where Dark Mass went, having looked for it on crag previously!
The original ascent of Un Poco Loco (Cave/Duff) started up chimney of Crypt Route, before moving left. The yellow line actually follows Crack Line, FWA Clark/McFarlane (2006).
Many thanks Stuart – we’ll publish an updated topo in due course. Clearly your direct start to Un Poco Loco needs to be acknowledged on the diagram!
Having climbed the original Cave/Duff line some years ago and more recently Stuart’s Direct start (mentioned above and full value btw!) into Es Tressider’s direct finish through the archway…I was pondering why they aren’t really described now as separate lines?
Bar the top pitch above the arch they share perhaps only 20ft of climbing on pitch 2.
In any other situation they’d be classed as separate lines. Perhaps it’s the way it is due to their bit by bit evolution?
Both versions are superb routes.
Wow, is that all the routes there are there? Just look at the gaps…