Today Gill and Rich, and Scoob and I headed south to some more low lying icefalls near Glencoe. Scoob is an old friend who, many years ago, got me back into winter climbing. He also saved my life hauling me back onto a ledge by a rucksack strap when an abseil anchor collapsed during our descent from a first ascent in Bolivia (that's another story.... but I was younger and dumber then). So its great to have chance to climb with him again.
A half hour walk in saw us at the foot of the left hand of two icefalls. The first 2 or 3 pitches were slabby and open to variation. The last pitch was a wee treat with more of the glassy windows, brittle icicles, hollow chandeliers and bobbly ice with water flowing behind we've been getting used to recently. The wall was nicely ledged and featured and led to a handy tree belay/abseil anchor. The route was probably worth III,4- pretty much what the guidebook says.
The right hand icefall was a little different. The centre looked steep and damp so Rich and Gill tried a line on the right which got quite thin. I went up the middle finding good ice for climbing and enough bosses of fatter stuff to get 4 screws in in 50m. Scoob took the upper pitch and we found another tree to ab off of. This time I'd say the line went at IV, again as the book says.
Then off to the cafe for Hot Chocolate, Chocolate cake and medals!