Posts tagged Aonach Beag
Curved Ridge and North East Ridge of Aonach Beag
A sneaky view of the moor
Love this route!
I have just spent two days out with Grahame who has been keen to climb some scrambling routes, to spice up his Munro ticking campaign.  He had already walked both munros on Buachaille Etive Mor but has had a burning desire to climb Curved Ridge so this was our objective for the first day.  A little surprised to see a deserted ridge on a Sunday but the forecast was pretty poor however it turned out pretty nice (not constant rain and some beams of sunlight).
Crux corner
Hero shot
We made steady progress up the ridge, chatting away merrily, rarely stopping other than to take some pictures when the views opened.  We arrived at the top of the ridge and nipped up Crowberry Tower for some excellent views of cloud to the north as well as the south!  With a press onto the summit we finally became exposed to the winds, we locked up our hoods, had a wee break on the summit then headed down into Corie nan Tulach.  A nicer day than expected.  Tomorrow on the North East ridge Aonach Beag will be mint....

Looking at what we have done
Orchids bring light to a gloomy day
Today Grahame and I took the Aonach Mor Gondola up to the top station then plodded up to the summit of Aonach Mor for some fantastic views of the clouds.  Just white and grey.
Descending into An Cul Choire, axe and cramoons!

I suppose I was a little apprehensive as I have never climbed the North East ridge of Aonach Beag but it was on Grahames to do list and the weather was to improve at midday, somewhere near the crux.  Views, sunshine and no rian!  Cant wait.  Well it did clear at about 6pm!  On the whole route we endured constant rain, thick low cloud and incredibly greasy rock.  I would strongly suggest to any folk off to try this route that they save it for a dry day with good views.  I would say it turned into the hardest days work this summer.
Mellow mountaineering
Abseiling off the crux section to bypass it

 We were both very relieved to get past the crux section which involved quite a bit of rope trickery and an assisted hoist.  Grahame did incredible well as every footstep was like soap and most handholds were the same.  We had thought about bailing earlier but we were holding onto the forecast that it would never did.  I suspect it is a great route in the dry in a fantastic setting, I am really keen to get back in more suitable conditions.  In winter, I suspect it will be amazing.
Greahame relieved to be at the top

Me tired and relieved.  
Avalanche forecasting
Blair looking for a snow patch.  Aonach Beag behind.
After the last two day of being bed ridden and sick, I decided to gather some strength and make it into the hills today.  Especially as it was such a beautiful day.  Fortunately Blair was out avalanche forecasting and at this short notice I could tag along and not be a burden to him.  As well as learning alot of science and improving my knowledge of avalanches I had a great day on the top of Aonach Mor.  Fantastic views all around with great clarity.  Great day to be out. Am I fit to go climbing tomorrow??
Work cancelled today so I went skiing
Looking very snowy on the North Face of Ben Nevis
 Unfortunately John was unable to make it out today, so after a failed attempt to find someone to climb with, I grabbed my ski's and skins and headed up to Aonach Mor.  I skinned over to Aonach Mor summit and then over to the col between Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag for lunch.  I could see ice forming on Aonach beag, things like Stand and Deliver were thin but looks like a good start.  Aonach Mor East face was plastered, large cornices hang over the tops and reports of huge avalanche debris on the coire below.  Climbers topped out of the West face reporting good conditions.  After this Back over to the pistes for as many runs as my legs would allow.  After an impressive fall I called it a day.
Spot the crown wall...released under its own weight


Only me and this chap at the col

WE need a wee thaw and a good freeze and then conditions will be amazing!

Royal Pardon and Stand and Deliver
First pitch of Royal Pardon

Paul making his way up to the belay

Amazing crux section complete

heading up to the crux of Stand and Deliver

Don't swing too hard

Doesn't get much better than this!

It doesn't get much better than this.  Blue skies, no wind, ace company, sticky ice and bone dry!  Paul and I got the early gondola at Aonach Mor and made the brief walk over to the col below Aonoch Beag in strong sunlight.  We had several teams in our wake, Blair and Nona heading for Kings Ransom, Rich and his client heading for Royal Pardon as well as another team who backed off it yesterday.  Fortunately we were at the base of Royal Pardon (VI,5) first and were rewarded with perfect, first time placements and sticky ice.  It truly was a dream to climb.  A tense game of rock, paper, scissors meant I got the crux pitch which was brilliant.  We were fairly swift up the route, topping out at 12.30 so after a nice lunch break in the sun and a chat with Matt Pycroft (who was filming Andy Cave on Stand and Deliver) we went back in for another route.  Stand and Deliver (V,5) looked amazing so we fired in a couple of ice screws and we were ready to go.  Paul got the crux pitch on this which was hard.  Steep and hollow sounding but the ice was still fantastic.  Paul dispatched quickly, not surprising after his long run of ice routes over the last 3 weeks.  I finding it really hard to decide which has been the best day of the season for me, they just seem to be getting better and better!