I was out with Guy and Luke today and had my eye on what I think is a new line on Aonach Mor. The Prow to the left of Sterling Bridge has a cool looking groove and hanging crack high in the face. There was a lot of care needed to get to the route today avoiding some funky snow and dodgy pockets of wind slab. There where 2 parties caught in small avalanches that I know of today on the slopes East of Easy Gully, and we witnessed a natural release as well.
The route we climbed had some excellent climbing on it and felt a bit harder and bolder than anything else I had led recently. After discussing it and comparing it to things of similar grades, we can to an easy consensus. The route is described below.
|Resting before launching into the crux|
|Working hard through the thin hooks and feet|
The Prow VIII,8** (Adam Hughes, Guy Stevens & Luke Brooks)
Pitch 1. (30m) Start underneath the prow and climb the slab to reach a ramp below the obvious groove. Climb the turfy groove with good gear to make a tricky step right on to a good foothold. Here the Groove narrows and becomes blank. make some thin moves to gain the steep wall out right, and make even thinner moves on poor flat hooks to reach the thin hanging crack/corner. More thin moves up the crack gains some good, but hollow hooks half way up the corner (poor bulldog protects). From here a committing move left leads to a rest on a good turf ledge. Move up and then move right across the face to regain the crack then the arete. Easy climbing leads to a good belay.
|The angle gear showing how steep it is!|
Pitch 2. (25m) Climb the easy snow to the top.