19 February 2012
Looking to make the best of the ‘fresh’ snow and colder temperatures that arrived Friday and Saturday Craig and I headed into Stob Coire Nam Beith to Climb Central Gully IV**. I led off up the first pitch but the ice was soft and booming with my axe placements. With no chance of screw placements for protection I retreated and we moved together up the gully to the right hand side. The scenery here was fantastic with many variations possible. Craig led some thin ice that was probably Grade III to take us into another gully system. From here we moved together on what turned out to be steep ground to a cave with left facing corner and chock stone. After rigging a good belay and runner, I led the left hand icy wall bridging on the chock stone before pulling over the lip (felt like grade 1V,5/6). No protection and non-existent axe placements seems to be the theme this winter. Craig followed and then we moved together through iced up rocks to the summit. Great route that was more of a ‘journey’ linking many routes on this great face. Loads of people on SCNL and Bidean summits.
More from Craig here on Simply Epic Adventure blog
|Aonach Eagach in the morning Alpinglow|
|Craig on thin ice|
|Easier ground on the upper couloir |
Me on the final technical moves