Sunday, 28 September 2014

Old Friends...New Routes

After a long summer of work, it was good to get out for a climbing session. Bill unfortunately tied up elsewhere, Craig and Mark made the best of the weather and headed for the Coe with North Face Route on the Bookle in mind.

Arrival and the walk in found us in light drizzle and chilly winds but the face gave us some shelter as Mark headed up the first pitch.  The walk in is as meandering as the climb itself but eventually leads to a nice wee niche in the rock and a straightforward start.

Chilly start

Mark leading off

The climb has pretty good holds but many interesting moves in the first few pitches, followed by a lovely traversing pitch round a corner and up a pleasant groove - Craig went a bit high and ended up with a lot of rope drag at the belay but high seemed the obvious line.

Second pitch heading for a nice bit of action

The 'hero' shot...lovely short pitch

Mark led off up the guidebook crux though we weren't sure where the crux was tbh.  A slabby approach saw Mark off up the crack line for another short pitch - 8 pitches in total and really neither is more than 30m tops...evidencing a nice meandering route.

Mark at the top of the crux

There followed a superb chimney pitch up a very slimy & wet chimney - like soaked but filthy - and Craig despatched the airy step back across the chimney to the belay bringing Mark up to finish off the difficulties across the next hero shot pitch on quite wonderful, grippy rock.

Craig on the chimney pitch

Mark on the final 'hero' pitch
All in, this is a great route with much interest and variety of moves.  It terminates at the top of D Gully Buttress and descends down Curved Ridge.

A great day and what a great decision to avoid the Rannoch Wall, which had about 50 climbers on Agag's and January Jigsaw on an outing from Glasgow Uni...a babble of ropes indeed!

Nice chat with a few parties on the way down saw us crossing the River Coe with nearly dry feet and a drive home...which would have been much quicker if the part timers doing the Pulpit Rock road widening got their finger out and hurried up a tad!!!

NFR - a worth 4 star severe in the wet on any day.   Could possibly get a visit in winter? :)