Petestack Blog

14 June 2009

Cloudburst on Aonach Dubh

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 9:56 pm

Today I was climbing on the East Face of Aonach Dubh with Jamie Bankhead, intent on a ‘smash and grab raid’ before a bright start turned to forecast rain. So perhaps you’ll not be surprised to hear that we did indeed get wet in the end, although just quite how wet was still a surprise to us…

After starting up Curving Crack (Severe, alt leads) on the Weeping Wall, Jamie pointed me at the delightful single pitch Terrace Arete (VS, my lead) above. And this is an absolute wee cracker, with a delicate crux requiring a confident approach as it quickly takes you away up left of the gear ‘protecting’ it, followed by some really good, steep, juggy climbing that had me grinning from ear to ear as I continued up to the top-out. So, with some spots of rain falling as we completed the route, perhaps we should have been content there and called it a day, but things appeared to be brightening up again, we fancied another and that’s how we came to be perched above the first pitch of Wounded Knee (Severe) on the Terrace Face when the rain came on again. Now, Jamie had just led that pitch and we were debating our options as it started to spit while we re-racked for my lead, but (with the top pitch up the ‘imposing headwall’ untenable and no attractive abseil option immediately to hand as this spitting turned almost instantaneously to torrential rain and hail) we were virtually forced into an escape up Quiver Rib (Diff), which I led as quickly as seemed wise through streaming cracks and puddling holds to bring an equally cold and wet Jamie up just minutes later. After which we descended via wet paths, wet rock and several waterfalls to get back to our starting point with a hint of returning sun, but soaked to the skin and thankful that no thunder and lightning had accompanied that particular drenching.

Comprehensively caught out, but able to appreciate the funny side of a potentially serious situation even as we made our way down. So quite a day out, and (dare I say it?) ultimately enriched through that bizarre conclusion!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Blog powered by WordPress. Feedback to