Monday, 9 February 2009

Glen Coe Gem

Today I was out with Matt and Kenny and we climbed the rarely in Blue Riband on the South side of the Aonach Eagach. After spending the last 2 days recovering from man flu this seemed like a sensible option as Matt assured me it was only 400m up from the road. If I had paid attention to the details I would have noticed the route is 600m long, followed by a traverse of half the ridge as well. All said this was one of, if not the best ice climbing I have done in Scotland. The main difficulties are at the start with 3 steep pitches in a row (these all had next to no useful protection today so I would say the route is worthVI,5 overall). Some easy ground leads to a 35m grade 4 pitch (V,4 today with only 2 rock runners found and the ice ok to climb but no good for screws). More easy ground takes you to the last hard pitch which required commitment to start, then you got good ice screws. A further expedition of easy ground leads you to the ridge. The route had alot of water running as the sun was out all day, this should help it to continue to improve.

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