Saturday 19 May 2007

Ardnamurchan and Applecross

Jane and I went out to explore some crags on Ardnamurchan that I noticed in a pcture in the 1936 SMC Western Highlands guide. We found 3 different crags of gabbro and basalt from 12-40m high and climbed 7 routes from V Diff to VS. The gabbro was a little more friable than other Ardnamurchan crags and the basalt a little loose and vegetated. The views from the approach and the crags themselves add to the climbing however.
The very next day we were up in Applecross and climbed the Cioch Nose - possibly the most exposed severe in the UK. We approached from the top of Bealach na Ba and descended the path from near the telephone mast into the coire. The route starts from a narrow ledge several hundred feet above the glen floor. The exposure increases as you climb the 4 pitches of superb sandstone. You finish atop a tower at the end of a ridge and can descend by scrambling and abseiling a slightly loose gully. We chose to carry on up with another long pitch of severe and a 'mini Aonach Eagach' to return to the car. A long, hot, sunny spring day.