Saturday, May 10, 2008

New Route for Coire an T-sneachda?

A busy couple of days. Thursday was a fantastic evening, still warm in the shade and no midges! With views like these from Pinnacle crag it is easy to see why Gordon and I had a good time.

The views from Pinnacle Crag
Friday Andy and I headed into the Cairngorms. After one false start and a retreat to Ellis Brigham due to early morning gales, our original plans for Stag Rocks were shelved and we headed into the good old Coire an T-Sceachda, and towards the Mess of Pottage. The crux of the day soon followed, ascending increasingly icy snow before arriving at the base of the lovely granite buttress.

Andy on the wet groove of Mariella.
Route one was Mariella a nice VS that takes a big groove with an overhanging roof. The guide book describe this as “often wet” have a look at Andy in the photo and you will see what they mean. The move to swing out left under the roof is wild and really good value, but spot on for VS4b. The rest of the route ascends Cracks and Slabs, and on pitch 2 another deceptively awkward corner at 4b. Well worth the 1* it gets and maybe more.
Route two was a complete contrast. This time we headed off into the unknown, thinking we were about to do a route called Pot Doodles, VS 4c. The route itself was a typical granite slab. With lots of padding, and pushing off and little steps, Andy remarked there was one jug on the route! The gear was at best “marginal”, and to be absolutely honest, not great. Having looked at the topo in the new SMC Cairngorms guide it is obvious we had climbed a different line, the obvious thin crack between Yukon Jack and Pot Doodles. A new line for the Mess? Well we think so based on the evidence we have, so its Tasker VS4C 45mts(just, but right at the top end). The name comes from the fact we ran into the Vet of Andy’s dog Tasker when we topped out.

As this route finished half way up the crag we decided to finish up hidden chimney which makes quite a nice diff, if you ignore the pitch of choss lower down. I wonder if this has had a summer ascent. By the looks of the crampon scratches I am the only person not to have climbed it in Winter, it is perhaps the most scarred piece of rock I have seen.
Hidden Chimney in summer! Not quite where I expected to be.

1 comment:

P said...

Will, now that I've seen the photo, you didn't half lace that Diff.
Anyway I told you I'd forget about the fiver. If I don't do something the minute it enters my empty head I forget about it. When I mentioned it to you at the car instead of saying,"sort it out later", you should have said, "Yeh, cough up now you fumble-fingered old dodger or I'll scratch the Jag."
Take care