Despite clear weather in the West, extreme cold, difficult road conditions and sometimes huge depths of snow have made the choice of venue difficult in recent days. Several keen activists have had heir plans dashed. Part of the problem is that the cold dry snow has not been sticking to the steepest lines and it is the middle grade routes that have provided the best sport.
It is no surprise to hear that seasoned campaigner Andy Nisbet got this balance right and has bagged two good new routes in the past week. On Thursday December 2, Andy teamed up with John Lyall and Jonathan Preston to visit Sgorr Ruadh above Glen Carron. They made the first ascent of Woundwort (V,6), which takes the ramp system on the front face of the buttress containing Brown Gully, on the right of the Central Couloir.
“It was a three hour walk-in with quite a lot of snow blown on to the path, but the route was in good nick and lightly rimed,” Andy told me. “The main ramp on Woundwort is obvious but looks like it leads to a blank vertical wall. Fortunately a hidden cracked ramp-groove led through the wall!”
The previous day the same threesome visited Stob Ban above Glen Nevis where they climbed Tippy Toe (IV,5), a route based on the groove to the right of Groove Rider.