After a good study of the forecast it looked like we were going to have to climb high. As two became three, then three became four, we had a very sociable team with plenty of motivation to share around...which is exactly what you need for the walk into the North facing cliffs of Stob Coire an Laoigh. I was super keen for the three star route 'Some like it hot'. I have climbed the other classics of the crag such as 'Taliballen' (V,6) and Centrepoint (VI,7) and knew that, if I was too come back in here, I would climb 'Some like....'. My friend Kenny and I have talked about this route pretty much every year for the last 8 years but never got round to doing it.
|Lou heading up to the base of 'Some like it hot'|
|A quartzite wall! Some of the best climbing in Scotland is on quartzite!|
So Lou, Steve, Andy and myself left Spean Bridge at 0645 and drove up the track past Corriechoille Farm (beware of pot holes) to set off walking just after 7. The walk felt like it went on for hours but on arrival to the corrie, a mere 2 hours had passed. Just after nine, we were presented with a perfect looking crag!
|Looking up the corner from the top of P1. (tilt head to left ;)|
We split in our teams. Lou and I headed for 'Some like it hot' and Steve and Andy headed for 'Centrepoint'. We wondered what we would find. The ground was sodden on the walk in which allowed some doubt about conditions to creep in. The first swing of my ice axe confirmed that we were on! It was only going to get better and the turf was good!
|Lou heading up P1|
|Lou remembering how to winter climb, didn't take her long!|
As this was Lou's first trip out this winter, I led both pitches which were quite contrasting but equally brilliant. P1 (VI,6). Pitch 2 (VII,7).
|Lou approaching P1 belay|
With only two pitches to climb we topped out in pretty good time. We wandered over to see Steve and Andy in action, just as Steve was leading off on the 3rd and final pitch.
|Top of the 2nd pitch...2 massive ledges after 40m of amazing climbing|
I was over the moon with how good the conditions were and do I need to go back in? Course I do! Still several really good looking lines there (Blue Rinse, Cobra Corner) and it would be great to guide in there too...if only I could persuade a client to walk in that far...
A two hour walk out which required head torches for the last 20 minutes concluded a great day and a good early season route. Right back to work tomorrow in Glencoe!
|Steve and Andy are there somewhere on the steep 'Centrepoint'.|