Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Cairngorm Granite

I’m doing some work in both Aberdeen and Glasgow this week. On my way east I went with Jamie B for a climb on some perfect Cairngorm granite. If slabs are your thing (with the odd wee steeper bulge) then I can heartily recommend Stac a Fharaidh. We walked in from the ski car park via 1141 and down the east side of the crags (wet and slippery as the guidebooks promised) and started with Pippet Slab. I’d forgotten how good the friction was on granite like this and soon we were padding up the improbable slabs of this great Severe (a little sparse of gear – but there where it’s needed) in sunshine with just a gentle breeze to take the edge off of the heat. After a bite to eat we left the bags at the top and abseiled back down to avoid the wet gully and headed to Whispers. This VS starts with a perfectly straight 4a crack for 45m which proceeded to gobble cams, hexes and large nuts. I belayed as a few clouds appeared on the horizon but it was still a day for t-shirts only. Jamie dance and laid away up the 4b cracks above to the impending dark wall above. I won’t say too much about the excellent final 4c pitch suffice it to say that the traverse starts juggy and finishes with a bouldery little rock over to safety. If you are happy at VS and have faith in friction get on it! Enjoy the sun and climb whilst you can folks.

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