Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Lost Valley and Ben Udlaidh

Due to living in the back of a van for a few days I have not managed to update as regularly as normal.

On Monday Matt and I worked all the way up to Lost Valley Buttress to find that the route we wanted to climb was not really in. It looked as though someone had done it recently, but we could not justify it. The day was saved by another route to the left that had held it’s snow. Moonlighting is a steeper than it looks and varied V,6. The rock is a little shattered, so the gear is not as comforting as you would always like. We had stunning views from the top down Loch Etive and over Arrocher.

Tuesday took us up to Beinn Udlaidh. Despite being a bit tired we seemed to be on it once we started. We soloed up Central Gully to get to Junior’s Jaunt IV,5. This had to excellent pitch, the first a thin-ish corner which took you to the up stepped wall. One we would definitely recommend. We then abseiled into Organ Pipe Wall, this has an extremely steep pillar in the centre. I climbed this direct which felt a lot harder than the V,5 given (I had to have a little word with myself). The right hand line and using the groove as describe looked more in keeping with the grade. It was still early so we walked down and climbed Peter Pan Direct V,5. This is a bit chopped up but still offers good climbing. The start is steep but short lived, then a slab takes you to the belay. A nice grade IV pitch then leads to the top.

There was a lot of wind and snow moving yesterday. Quite large pockets of slab were forming around the tops of gullies and around the base of the crag. We waited to keep an eye as one fella did battle with a horrible soft cornice top out on Quartz Vein Scoop. There are a lot of strange layers in the snow pack at the moment and a lot of care needed.

Today I went and climbed the Oui Oui with Nic. It's holding in there, but won't last long if the temperatures stay as they are. the middle is hollow and kicked to bits. The top icicle have formed and looks stunning. Scott Muir climbed it a few days ago, so it's there to be done.

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