On Saturday James, Hugo, John, Chris and I got an early start and were walking into Stobe Coire nan Lochan by 6.30. It was pretty warm in the glen and the snow level was quite high but once in the snow things seemed to solidify pretty nicely. Our target was Central Grooves, just like everyone else we talked to that day. It was however looking quite black. Most of the coire looked black except for parts of summit buttress. The obvious ramp of Scabbard Chimney (V 6) looked good so we headed over and geared up. There was some unconsolidated snow in the chimney but other than that it wasn't in too bad nic. There were some fun little bridging moves on the second pitch, I'm starting to come round to the idea of bridging now, and all the belays were insitu, which was handy.
|James on the 2nd pitch of Scabbard Chimney|
After another 5am start on Sunday I met up with Tom Challands and went to climb Crypt Route (V 6) on Bidean nam Bian. Things were looking pretty bad on the walk in with a waterfall coming down a line on the left of Stobe Coire nam Beith, but we pressed on as we'd already come a long way. Most of Church Door butress was looking black but there was some good ice in the gully of Crypt route. Tom lead the first pitch and belayed inside the deep chimney. It didn't feel too bad to second until I got my boot stuck!
|No question about this being in winter nic. (Photo credit Tom Challands)|
Check out Toms blog for his take on the day.