Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Strathconon Ice

Sam, Myles and i went up Strathconon today to try some more of the low level ice. We didn't get up the intended new line as there wasn't as much ice as i was hoping for (the hills were quite dry before the freeze came) and at an altitude of 400m or so was significantly warmer. I was a few metres shy of easier ground when i bottled it and reversed the climb as the ice wasn't good enough to lower off.

Instead in the late afternoon we went to climb "the Strathconon experience" which is a rarely formed ice line in a big stream coming off the hillside It faces NW and at an altitude of about 150m it was a perfect choice for the temp inversion (NH 274 510 and page 383 in the Northern Highlands Central guide. This still has a lot of water running on each of the steep sections but was very good to climb. It had 4 steep sections with sections of walking inbetween on top of the frozen stream bed hoping not to fall into the deep pools! Picture above is of the first pitch, video below is of the last pitch.

It was only -4c last night in Conon Bridge as the cloud rolled in and prevented the temp dipping. It should be another cold one tonight though. I'm planning on a nice we walk tomorrow until the bad man who will be banging on the inside of my skull goes away.

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