Petestack Blog

9 July 2009

Not all overgraded at Ardnamurchan!

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 2:52 pm

On Tuesday I was back at the Ardnamurchan Ring Crags with Lorenzo and Chuck, but this time on Achnaha Buttress and Sron nan Gabhar rather than the honeypot Meall an Fhir-eoin Beag.

Achnaha Buttress was a little disappointing, with strange rock full of painful little chips and largely uninspiring lines, but we all enjoyed the steep crack of Coal Mining (a brutal VS 5a), which Lorenzo led. After which Chuck tried the even steeper crack of Wheesht! (E2 5c), I led the easier line of Plocaig Rock (HS 4b) and Chuck soloed Nicht Thochts (stiff VS 4c).

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Sron nan Gobhar seemed more attractive, with nicer rock and better lines, and I thought Chuck did well to get most of the way up Acting Soft (stiff E2 5c) before escaping up Ozone Layer (HVS 5a). So perhaps I couldn’t follow him up the harder route for more than a couple of moves (NB I’ve never tried 5c before!), but was still able to remove enough gear to get a clean run at Ozone Layer, which I enjoyed and could probably have led despite my usual protestation of ‘I couldn’t have led this’. After which Chuck and I followed Lorenzo up the equally good, but more delicate, High Plains Drifter (HVS 5b in SMC, VS 5a in Latter, but probably actually HVS 5a and another I could have led) and Chuck and Lorenzo repeated Ozone Layer before we all moved up left for one last climb. For which finale I led Lorenzo up the excellent Thor (supposedly Severe 4b, but most definitely HS 4b) and Chuck reported Mjollnir (HS 4a) as VS 4c, which all tends to suggest that (contrary to popular opinion) not all grades at Ardnamurchan are soft!

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Last night I climbed at Polldubh with Rich and Kat, soloing the Gutter before thirding (well, you know what I mean?) Slanting Slab (V Diff), leading Eigerwand (HS) and seconding Bullet/Three Pines (Severe).

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