Petestack Blog

10 January 2010

The Caolasnacon Posse

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 8:30 pm

When Isi texted me yesterday (while I was out running to the Dam) to ask if I fancied a climb today ‘before all this lovely ice disappears’, the first routes that crossed my mind were The Posse and What’s the Story above Caolasnacon (scene of last Sunday’s misdirected search for ice in the wrong place). So that’s where we went today, although we only had time for the one route in the end…

Now, The Posse (IV, John Grieve 1971) and What’s the Story (III/IV, Davy Gunn 2001) are two cracking looking, accessible, low-level icefall routes, although friends who’ve done both this week say the gradings are probably the wrong way round. On which note, I’d agree that the bulging third pitch crux of The Posse, despite being briefly quite steep and exciting above the great sweep of ice below, is basically all there and pretty soft for IV.

While I’d hoped to get Isi leading one of the earlier pitches, she managed to persuade me to take the whole of the lower sweep (in two long II/III pitches) as well as the steeper crux (which, as Al Halewood has observed on his blog, really is a ‘wee treat’). But revenge was at hand, because there was a nice 40m Grade II pitch (not really described in the guide) above that to finish things off tidily, so I sent her up that and she made a nice job of leading it.

Might just add that these Caolasnacon routes are very worthwhile (genuinely comparable in scale to An Steall Ban) and I’m happy to admit to defecting to the (leashless!) ‘dark side’ after taking off my clippers and climbing today with my new Black Diamond Spinners. :-)

With thanks to Isi for the photo of me on the crux pitch and a great day out!

See also Davy Gunn’s comment of 9 February.

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