05/12/2012 16:33:03

Words by tcsh

First trip up North

With a promising forecast and rumours of good climbing conditions, staff member Bryan and friend of the shop, Andy, headed up to Glen Coe in hope of some winter fun (and a chance for Bryan to scratch up his new shiny DMM Apex axes – which by the way are reported to be excellent!)

Here’s Bryan’s report of what they got up to…

Monday 26th Nov – Raeburn’s Route (IV,4), Stob Coire Nan Lochain
After an early start, we arrived in the coire at 9am. Conditions weren’t as good as anticipated, so our intended route wasn’t to be. However, Raeburn’s route, a 3 star buttress route looked OK. This proved to be a good choice.
Tues 27th Nov – North East Buttress, (IV,4), Ben nevis
Another early start and a cold night in the van, we arrived at the foot of the N.E Buttress at 9.45am. Shrouded in cloud and buffeted by strong winds, we made quick progress and topped out at midday. No views today, we descended Coire Leis and headed for the luxury of a Bunkhouse in Fort William to dry out.
Wed 28th Nov – Gargoyle Wall (VI,6), Ben Nevis
Arriving at the foot of Gargoyle Wall at 9.30am, which was covered in a white coat of Rime, ice and snow. Andy I both felt rather intimidated, but stay quiet, as we knew it would be too easy to run away and do an easier route. We grew with confidence with each pitch and after 5 hard won pitches of excellent, well protected (mostly), mixed climbing, we topped out at 4pm. In fading light we descended number 4 gully, delighted by the day, but also amazed at how brilliant the conditions re for November.
Thurs 29th Nov – Sron na Lairig, Glen Coe
After several beers in the Clachaig and a bitterly cold night in the van again, Andy and I decided on a more relaxing day. So we headed up the classic Sron na Lairig ridge and back along the Beinn Fhada ridge, which concluded our trip.

29603_10151330640329756_1413389085_n 29591_10151330640634756_105943004_n
Topping out on Stob Coire nan Lochain North East Buttress, Ben Nevis
252236_10151330642424756_2145047766_n 179356_10151330641654756_823218007_n
Bryan on Gargoyle Wall Andy on Gargoyle Wall, with the impressive line of Darth Vader behind
76417_10151330642954756_959000711_n 486392_10151330643074756_1610262413_n
Sron n Lairig ridge Coming back down the Beinn Fhada ridge