Saturday, 10 December 2011

Winter climbage 06/12/11-10/12/11

Tuesday I headed up to Beinn Dorain with Adam to have a look at Messaih or The Sting, we deliberated for a while whilst watching Greg and Will sprinting up Defenders of the Faith. We decided on The Sting, couldn't find the start as per the description, changed our mind to go and do Messaih, set off up there only to find the turf unfrozen over there so went back to find The
Sting! We set off up what seemed like a more obvious first pitch and then did the second pitch up an obvious right facing corner to a small cave which was a brilliant pitch. Adam then came up and had a look at the next and following (crux) pitch but given it was getting late we decided to bail from the fixed gear at the top of the earlier corner pitch which took us straight back to the bags. We then said goodbye to Adam and headed up to the CIC Hut in some fairly heavy snow.

Wednesday dawned and there was lots of snow around, we decided to go up towards Echo Wall as the guys had their eyes on something new, unfortunately it wasn't playing ball so we went up Great Chimney which was home to little ice, some fun old-school climbing, and tonnes of spindrift! Good to get a route done though.

Thursday brought the forecasted hurricane forece winds and we spent half the day sitting in the hut playing cards before noticing some debris being blown around outside. After going out to investigate and realising half the roof had blown off we decided to bail down to Fort Bill. Unfortunately after about half an hour of trying to walk in 100mph+ winds and having only made about 100m of progress in half an hour we went back to the hut to sit it out.

This turned out to be the better decision in the end anyway as Friday came round with no wind whatsoever and even the occasional glimpse of blue sky! We headed off up to Number 3 Gully Buttress and the guys made the second ascent of The Knuckleduster which was home to some pretty thin and bold climbing, sustained as well. We topped out in the clear moonlight and the whole coire was lit up brillitantly which was fantastic! An absolutely awesome day.

After a full on day yesterday and helping Robin Clothier and some other SMC members do a bit of clean up and fixing this morning we headed back down to Fort William and homewards. A brilliant week even if the weather was mental!

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