Thursday, March 01, 2007

The end of the winter meet

Roger and i took Dougald from Colerado and Michael from Denmark on a trip to the NW. We went into Beinn Dearg with an eye to a new line and a taste of real Scottish Winter adventure climbing. Our first objective, whilst wintery in appearance did not have very well frozen turf. We continued to assess objectives as we gained height and the turf got better but we ran out of cliff before it became really good! Dougal and i tried a new line but retreated (after spending an age finding a belay we would be happy putting body weight on) and followed Roger and Michael up Tower of Babel at IV,6 and found this to be a good choice as the difficulties are in hooking and torquing on rock. Emerald gully and the other gullies have no ice at all in them.
Photos Show Dougald on Tower of Babel

Word from the Ben was of great mixed conditions with lots of good routes getting done and some folk on new lines. Dave MacLeod, Hiroyoshi Manome and Katsutaka Yokoyama (Japan) did a new line on the Comb above the Good Groove graded VIII 8. Viv Scott and Domagoj Bojko (Dom from Croatia) did a new route VIII 8 that takes the obvious hanging chimney just left of South Sea Bubble.
Ian Parnell and Sean Isaac (Canada) also did a new line based around the VS of Last Stand on the Sioux Wall at VIII 8. This wall has seen a plethera of hard winter lines recently with winter ascents of Arther, Sioux Wall and very recently Knuckleduster by Steve Ashworth and Blair Fyffe. I was suprised to hear that Parnell beat Steve to Last Stand, but Steve likes to stay up late and rise late and we all know what the early bird gets... new lines on the Ben!

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