Pollaidh Perfect

Caption: John Higham on the first ascent of No.2 Buttress Original Route (IV,6) on Stac Pollaidh. The route comes up from the gully below the climber before emerging between the pinnacle on the far left and the main tower. Their line of footsteps traversing below the main tower before gaining the arete are clearly visible. (Photo Iain Young)

Iain Young and John Higham made a winter ascent of No.2 buttress on Stac Pollaidh via a variation of Original Route (an ancient summer Diff) on December 12.

“It was a fabulous day out and our third attempt on the route,” Iain reports. “The first time the mountain was under heavy snow, it was snowing, we went the wrong way, but the turf was soggy anyway. That day we escaped up the slabby ground that leads to the summit ridge from below Bats in the Belfry – hard enough in itself under powder! The second time, at the back end of Storm Arwen, we found the start of our planned line, ibut things were again not frozen.

Yesterday persistence paid off. We started further up the gully than the summer start of Release the Bats, followed a snowy ramp out right to a steep turfy groove and then climbed a short, hard (for us at least), but well-protected crack. Ledges and short steps led to the ridge at the base of the upper tower mentioned in the summer description of Release the Bats. This was bypassed on the east side before the arete was regained in a fantastic situation. Some steep moves on good hooks on the headwall above, before a move left into the obvious finishing gully. The final slab taken in summer was then avoided on the right to gain the summit ridge. Overall, IV,6 in five shortish pitches.”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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1 Response to Pollaidh Perfect

  1. mike barnard says:

    This looks a great piece of Scottish style ‘alpine’ mountaineering.

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