Petestack Blog

13 February 2010

SC Gully

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 10:13 am

Long before I ever saw myself climbing Grade Vs (when I was climbing before, didn’t go out so much in winter and was basically walking or soloing Is and IIs when I did), SC Gully on Stob Coire nan Lochan was probably close to the summit of my realistic winter aspirations as a classic Grade III line of dramatic appearance and unimpeachable integrity (a straight, deep cleft between two buttresses). So, when Matt managed to tempt me into a day out on a half-term Friday (yesterday) when I had much else to be getting on with, that was the climb (still missing from my ‘CV’) that I most wanted to do. And we found it in superb condition, waiting for one team who got there before us but overtaking another two on the walk-in…

Looking at Matt’s photo of the whole climb below (note also the figure in yellow to the right of the two climbers in the gully on the Grade VII Central Grooves!), there’s much straightforward snow climbing with the two main areas of difficulty being an initial ice pitch up the first narrows to the right of the tapering buttress at the bottom and the moves right (the guidebook crux) to the next icefall about halfway up. So I led in two pitches up to and beyond the crux (which I did offer to Matt) before turning over the lead for a final snow pitch, finding the crux traverse a delightful little mixed sequence (apparently it varies a lot!) and the first ice pitch possibly harder on the day. With a nice slot already cut through the cornice and sunshine to greet us on top, it really was a chance well taken to enjoy this lovely, classic route that I’ve waited so long to do.

Teams also out on Twisting Gully (Guy & Gordon, Sean & Paul), Moonshadow, East Face Route and Central Grooves, and considerably more cornicing than when we did Twisting three weeks ago (the summit pyramid of Stob Coire nan Lochan also looks absolutely laden in places). Happy that I’m able to access and stow my ice screws comfortably at last with my new Ice Flutes working well (just need to fine tune my method of attaching them to my double bandolier now), and at the point of ordering a pair of Vipers after trying Matt’s on the way down. Also went to see Andy Kirkpatrick at the Fort William Mountain Festival in the evening, and have to say the guy’s very, very funny!

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