Jan 31, 2012

More Scottish winter ascents

 Two more days, two more routes
With a window of 40 min we headed up with the ski lift to Anoach Mor today for some winter sport cragging on the east face.

In the total white out we rapped down the central buttress and climbed a variation of Tunnel Vision, before descending back down the ski slopes.
But, Yesterday we had a as close to perfect as possible day on le Ben
Point 5 Gully is the buttress to the right of the central pillar

The mega classic Point 5 Gully showed up to be in almost perfect Conditions except a few Italians occupying the lower bit of the Gully. But as it was Mikaels 3rd try, never had the weather to even get to the base before but always hoping. This was the day for getting spinndrifted and face peeled! After a 2 1/2 hours approach we stood under the first ice steep. A not to steep ice step before it gets vertical on the most righthand side and the upper tunnels.
After some final step snow plodding we stod at the base of climb. Warm winds and even a sunny spell on the lower mountains. Still though with the summit well hiding in the clouds. Time to go!

The first bit went flying upphill but after a 10mts on the vertical stuff the ice changed quality and gave me some bigger thoughts like "to hold or not to hold" But with an other team still struggling on the lower angle part there wasnt any other option than to breed in the spinndrift, fight the cold hands and keep those axes moving up.

 Arriving at the stand there was two options, tie in some screws on the side and hang around or make a couple of fast moves passing the next euro crisis and the ex Berlosconi's... Well, after a half second thinking I choose the first. Put on my hood and brought up Mikael, hooded up as well.
The point 5 isnt just a classic climb, its a beatiful route that just keeps on going cutting up in the center of Ben. And topping out at the highest point. With out even treating the climbers with a big fearful overhanging cornice!
The seven pitches passes a little to fast, getting much easier after the first 3 ones. The angle easies out and the gully gets wider. Passing time!
Arriving at the summit I can even see the old weather observatory, now and then at least. Which still was in use until the beginning of this Century but is just a emergency shelter now days.
After a quick drinck of almost hot tea, we hit the compass course of 285degress grid and heads down the path (Built to the cost of £793.6s.3d)...by the way
The movie!

 /Slàn leat!

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