Friday, July 3, 2009

The Needle: Shelterstone.

Yesterday, saw Andy and I head over into Loch Avon in the Northern Cairngorms and tick the utterly fantastic Needle, well worth the 4* for the top needle crack/corner pitch alone. A route well worthy of the "Classic" name tag banded around. By all accounts with tales of flash flooding in Drumochter and Inverness, we were very lucky with the weather, with warm winds and the odd cooling cloud to keep things perfect.
The route makes you smile for 265 mts including the micro caving at the top to thread the needle itself. All the pitches are varied, well protected and contain quality climbing, with the only the "crack for thin fingers" perhaps suffering a little, from a bit of Polish. Still no complaints. A thoroughly fantastic day on the hill.

The beautiful Loch Avon.

Start of pitch 2 with 230mts still to go!

The brilliant top corner/crack.

Andy "Threading the Needle", the gap under this chockstone is pretty tight, a real jigsaw puzzle to fit yourself through.

The upper half of the route in the evening sunshine.

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