Sunday, 25 March 2012

ICE and nice

Simply Epic out for the first rock of the season, and it was all too early but where's the snow and ice!!

Early start, minimum sleep (clocks forward) and we were on the road at 6am.   Well ahead of the crowds, the sun was out and we sweated up to start of Curved, making our way to the start of the climb.

We wasted little time and familiarised ourselves with rock movement, rock shoes and sore feet.   Mark took first pitch, I had two and three and Mark cleared the final.

The third pitch nose was interesting and forces you stop for a 'feel' of the exposure.

We topped out in glorious sunshine and wandered down to the top of January Jigsaw where we set up the abseil on some tat....always a testing time for the Kahoona challenge.

We got down to the cross over with Agag's and went to pull the rope through but things were solidly stuck...aaargh.   A quick discussion and we tied some loops in the rope and stood on it full force til eventually the rope moved imperceptibly and pulled through...if that had failed, I'd already nominated Mark 'to go get it'!!

We got down the next ab and Eva was good enough to throw down our sling and krab...climbers are always nice helpful folk in Scotland :)

We had our eyes on January Jigsaw but as we got down, we realised a three man team had popped out Easy Gully and were kitting up.   We sat and had a bite and a chat with some young turks (one from the Ice Factor) and headed home in the sunshine.

What a great day we had...rock climbing isn't winter...but it is still fun :)

Short video of the climb...a really Simply Epic Day!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Winter Returns - without a vengeance

Early start saw us in Glen Coe early doors ahead of any crowds... Bill's sore knee had him off doing some low level micro navigation.

Mark and I made good time to the top of Am Bodach in 1hr 20m with a nice dusting of new snow overnight.  After a quick change out of waterproofs - snowing heavily at one point - we struck off across the ridge, san crampons but single axe in hand.   The chimney down off the top was tricky and slippy but careful footwork saw us down and heading for the first Munro top.

The scenery was stunning when the cloud cleared so we made the best of the opportunities.
After a quick food stop, we headed for the pinnacles and found them friendly and good sport.   We only roped for the final pinnacle on the tricky ascent on to it and the slabby descent off.   The rock was super slippy in places and the ice axe was nothing other than a hinderance.

Once we were carefully over the difficulties, we were heading onto the path to get off the ridge before the pull up to the final Munro; unfortunately, tho perhaps fortunately, this is where I went for a 'Dancing on Ice' moment and fell on my derrier with an almighty thump...thankfully, it was right beside the path.   Just shows you can never be complacent...glad it never happened earlier.   Pride and a sore hand were the only dents!

We headed on and as we were about to descend, the sun came out in all its glory and we captured some lovely pics back up the ridge...

We descended a serious of gullies and shoulders which eventually spat us out at the layby near the lochan Achtriochan where Bill was good enough to get us.

All in, a great day and Aonach Eagach never fails to deliver.  It probably had too little snow on it today to be really good for winter and too much on it to make it easy.  Read it was climbed on Saturday without axe or crampons; that wont be the case for a few days anyway and maybe longer depending on the freeze over the next few days.

Take care if doing it and have a great time.

Short video of the day -