Saturday 23 March 2013

New Route in Stob Coire nan Lochain

Andy and I headed to Glen Coe last week to attempt a long-standing mixed objective. Unfortunately, the crag had caught the sun and Plans A, B and C all featured far too much bare rock. We traversed across to the Twisting Gully area to have a look at Simon Yearsley and Malcolm Bass's new route Twisted. But higher up, we spotted a couple of obvious lines which weren't in the guidebook. Time for a bit of an adventure!

A gorgeous morning in Glen Coe

We opted for a steep corner rising from the ramp of Moonshadow.  This gave about about 30m of good, steep, independent climbing, plus of course a pleasant start up Twisting Gully Right Hand and the start of the Moonshadow ramp. It was probably VI,7 - quite sustained Tech 7, but never quite touching Tech 8 and not long enough to justify more than VI overall. Asking around, it seems this is indeed a new route, so we decided to call it Moonshine. It's definitely worth a star or two, and would make a good option when the lower buttresses are stripped.

Me half-way up the steep corner

Canadian Ice

Andy and I had a great 2-week trip to the Rockies earlier this month. Ticked lots of classics - Polar Circus, Curtain Call, Ice 9, Louise Falls, French Reality, Whiteman Falls... Rather than give a blow-by-blow description, here are a few photos of the highlights.

First route of the trip - Weeping Wall in glorious sunshine

Steep featured ice on P1 of curtain call

More steep ice on curtain call - heading for the ice roof where the pillar has split & re-frozen

Exciting abseil back down again

The first of the steeper pitches on Polar Circus

Skiing across Lake Louise heading for Louise Falls

Andy on the mixed pitch on French Reality

Me starting up the steep ice pitch on French Reality

Still steep...

Starting up Whiteman Falls