Saturday, 28 January 2012

Twisting Gully, Stob Coire nan Lochan

On Friday night after work I went and picked Luca up and we drove up to Onich to meet some other members of the Lomond Mountaineering Club, and also joined by some continental friends of Luca.

6am and we were up after a terrible few hours rolling about in my sleeping bag and got the Moka Pot brewing for some strong wake up coffee and a bowl of oats and then we drove off down to Glencoe to climb at Stob Coire nan Lochan.

We arrived at the three sisters car park just at the sun started to rise, geared up and started on the long walk up to the corrie.

Luca and I went and had a look at SC Gully (III) while his two friends went to climb Raeburn's Route (IV). SC Gully was clearly too thin for my eyes and I decided not to climb it, and save it for once the ice had built up more. We then traversed along the apron to reach the foot of Twisting Gully (III) which only had one team on it already. This will do us.

The first pitch was up into a narrowing chimney which then blocked further movement. The second pitch was up over the crux which involved a traverse left on a sloping slab to gain a rib. An awkward mantelshelf with my axes onto my knees had me up onto the narrow arete leading up to the belay. The third pitch went up over a thinly covered chockstone which felt harder than the crux mantel move with only a thin hook in a blob of ice with my right axe, and a unsecure soft snow patch for my left axe. A high step got my left crampon front points onto a little hold while my right crampons scraped about for dear life trying to find purchase on the rock before I fell off. I managed to pull myself up and over the chockstone to the safety of the snow above which lead up to the belay. The fourth pitch was a short simple arete which then lead onto the scarp slope and then the cornice which presented no problems.

Finishing the day off in true Stob Coire nan Lochan fashion with descending Broad Gully via some bum sliding.

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