23/12/2011 09:57:00

Words by tcsh

The Winter Climbing season has finally started

Here’s a winter climbing report by outdoor instructor and part time Climbers Shop staff member, Bryan, just to get you inspired and psyched for the Christmas break and New Year.  Fingers crossed for some cold conditions.

‘Myself and a couple of friends, Andy and Mark headed north to Scotland at the beginning of December, hoping that our optimism of the weather not being as bad as forecast, and some good conditions, would pay off.  Luckily for us, we were rewarded with good early season conditions, and typical Scottish weather.’

‘Wednesday was spent in the Cairngorms, in Coire an Sneachda, where we climbed The Genie, where we had to climb fast to try and beat the rapidly rising freezing level which was threatening to strip the route.’

genie3 the genie
Mark leading pitch 2 of The Genie V,7   Andy seconding pitch 2
the genie 2  walk in

Mark seconding pitch 3

The long walk in  


‘After checking the forecast for Thursday, we decided to take a gamble and drive to Torridon, aiming to climb the triple buttress of Beinn Eighe via the East Buttress IV,5, which has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to climb.  As we drove down the valley, we were pleased the snow level was down to 300m, and knew that our gamble was going to pay off.  We were slightly concerned about our rather lazy 9.30am start however, as there was a 3hr walk in and 250m climb ahead of us!’

walk in 3 east buttress 1
The Triple Buttress of Beinn Eighe      The awesome view from the 1st belay of The East Buttress
east buttress 2 toppping out
Andy coming up the 1st pitch  Topping out into a blizzard


‘After only 7hrs, we arrived back at the car, after having an excellent day, where we didn’t see anyone all day.  If you haven’t been round to the Triple Buttress, I would thoroughly recommend it, even if you don’t intend to climb, its a nice walk, and a stunning place to be.’

descent 1 descent 2
The descent   Working out where to cross the river


‘On the final day, we headed back into Sneachda, where Andy and Mark climbed Stirling Bomber V,7 in very blustery conditions.  I chose not to climb, as my new boots were giving me lots of pain, so I just took a few pics, and then made a hasty retreat and got blown (quite literally) out of the corrie’.

spot the climber sneachda 2
Spot the climber.  Andy on pitch 1 of Stirling Bomber V,7   

  A spindrift swept  Fiachaill Buttress, Coire ant Sneachda

Here’s to a long and cold winter.