New Age Raiders

Greg Boswell powering up the first ascent of New Age Raiders (IX,9) on Church Door Buttress in Glen Coe. The route forces its way through exceptionally steep ground right of The Ninety-Five Theses – another testing IX,9 that takes the prominent overhanging corner left of centre. (Photo Hamish Frost)

On December 22, Greg Boswell and Callum Johnson added New Age Raiders (IX,9) to Bidean Nam Bian in Glen Coe. This superb addition to Church Door Buttress climbs very steep ground to the right of The Ninety-Five Theses (IX,9) before the angle of the crag eases to the right. Greg took the ferociously overhanging first pitch and Callum continued up the steep and icy terrain above.

Callum takes up the story:

“The gothic walls of Church Door Buttress glisten white in the first light of the day. Steep corners and enticing grooves, icicles hanging free overhead A nervous shiver – an intimidating place. A line is chosen; steep cracks, corners and grooves aiming for a roof, and a weakness – a possible way through?

Greg leads the impressively steep first pitch, probing many dead ends but eventually finding a way. Such is the case with on sight new routing. Gear and hooks are well spaced, giving the climbing a committing feel. I follow, cutting loose on the first steep section to swing feet from right to left to twist and reach for the next hook. Steep corners lead to a small ledge below the icicle-draped roof.

I make committing moves to leave the belay and pull into the icy continuation corner. The exposure is superb and with icy cracks the gear is hard won. The angle soon eases and icy ground leads to the summit.”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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