Winter Begins!

Ole Kemi climbing Millennium Buttress (V,5) on The Stuic on Lochnagar. The route was first climbed over 22 years ago and this is possibly the first repeat. (Photo Stuart McFarlane)

Once again, it’s been a slow start to the Scottish winter season and most of November was unseasonably mild. There was a three-day window in late November when the snowed up rock routes in the Northern Corries came briefly on condition and those lucky enough to be in position made ascents of Savage Slit, The Hoarmaster, Hooker’s Corner and Deep Throat. 

Winter started for real on Sunday December 4 with teams in action across the Cairngorms. In the main, it was the easier routes in Coire an t-Sneachda that attracted most attention, but Neil Adams and Paul Ramsden made an enterprising visit to Carn Etchachan and came away with a rare ascent of Snake Charmer, which at V,6 is one of the easiest routes on the Upper Tier. In Coire an Lochain, Dave Almond and partner climbed Fallout Corner (VI,7) followed by the testing War and Peace (VII,8) the following day. 

On the other side of the Cairngorms, The Stuic is continuing to gain popularity. On December 4, Nathan Adam and partner climbed the classic First Light (IV,5) followed by the excellent Morning Has Broken (V,6).

Three days later Stuart McFarlane and Ole Kemi visited the cliff and climbed Millennium Buttress (V,5). To my knowledge this is the first time the route has been repeated. As the name suggests, the first ascent took place on the first day of the century. I remember a tough day with John Ashbridge walking through deep snow from the road after not much sleep folowing the festivities the night before!

As I write snow continues to fall across the Highlands and the strong north wind is freezing the exposed turf. Winter has started!

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
This entry was posted in Commentary and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.