Huw Scott, Tom Fullen and Nathan Adam added a couple of good new mixed routes to Raw Egg Buttress on Aonach Beag on February 9.
Old Yoker (VI,7) starts at the base of Ruadh Eigg Chimney and takes the obvious slim turfy left facing corner in the wall right of Blackbeard, and Youthful Enthusiasm (V,6) climbs the crack and offwidth corner right of Old Yoker.
These are the first new routes added to the buttress for over 14 years. Interest in the crag has revived recently, partly due to the inclusion of Top Gun (V,6) in Chasing the Ephemeral, and it is good to see the other routes gaining attention too. Nathan and Huw have visited the crag several times over the last couple of winters and have made early repeats of Top Gun (V,6), Aonach Wall (V,6) and Ruadh Eigg Chimney (IV,5).
“I’d walked up to Raw Egg Buttress twice the week before with the hope of trying Salmonella but both times it turned out to be black,” Nathan told me. “So when it became light on the walk through Coire Giubhsachan and revealed a black crag I was feeling pretty disheartened. The wind had been up to no good and between that and the thaw a few days before it had been stripped clear.
Huw still seemed keener than Tom and me – we’d spied a few lines round the side of the crag on our walk up the week before and he was full of enthusiasm that they’d be in. I was less certain but had nothing else to lose other than take a look. It turned out that the slight change in aspect led to the cliff being lightly rimed and well frozen, perfect for mixed climbing and we managed two new lines. Both gave excellent steep and technical climbing, typical of the style on the buttress. They are about as high as you can go on the cliff so may save the day if the front face turns out to be black!”