I'm trying to make the most of this time when my family are all in the same place at the same time and it's been great. However with an utterly rubbish forecast for the end of today and into next week, with dramatically increased temperatures and warm southernly winds I was pretty keen to get out on an ice line "Moonlight Completion" in Corrie of Balglass near Fintry in the Campsie Fells just north of Glasgow. Last year I did Grey Mare's Tail and it was great so I was keen to get on this line, especially after seeing this awesome picture of it from last year;
So Neil and I set off early this morning and went into the Corrie to see if the line was still climable, we were a bit skeptical on the way in but fortunately it was perfect with amazing plasticy ice. The line looked pretty thin but when we actually got onto it there was no need to worry as it was p-h-fat.
We solo'd up most of the easier entry pitch and belayed on a big column below a platform which signals the pitch proper. I was slightly nervous whilst I was tying in and wasn't sure if it would be better to hand the lead over to Neil, but I thought I would go and have a look at least and after gaining the starting platform and putting in a screw I tried to psyche myself up to go for it. I managed to get psyched and overcome the intimidating start as the climbing looked fantastic and the ice was in brilliant condition. I pulled on and the start was quite steep but there were loads of cheeky features in the ice to use for your feet and I was soon placing my second screw. This theme essentially continued onwards for the rest of the pitch on slightly less steep ice, but continually interesting and greatly fearured. I was pleased to reach the belay ledge at the top and by the time I was at the belay it had made it a 70m pitch. Neil swiftly followed and we walked off back to the bags passing the other line in the corrie, a not fully formed III gully which looked quite fun.
We thought the route probably deserved V,5*** and it was fantastic to climb this brilliant line which doesn't get done that often, perhaps it won't form again this year! A perfect end to a pretty much perfect year, massively looking forward to everything that 2011 will bring! Happy New Year to everyone.