Monday, 11 January 2010

New Route?

Today Sal and I went to have a look at 'Hidden Streak' IV, the new route done by Guy and Jamie on Friday, on Sgorr Bhan above Ballachullish. In paticular I wanted a look at the small freestanding pillar forming a direct start to the route (slim and visible low in the photo). We walked in and could see the fat blue ice of the route from a distance (on the left in the photo). The small pillar looked just about solid enough so Sally tucked herself out of the way and I gingerly climbed it at about IV,5. Above this we had a little mixed step and were onto the main route. Also on the walk in we'd spotted a parallel line (the whiter gully on the right in the photo) so we climbed one of the IV pitches and then traversed 30m right to the base of our line. We had 2 pitches of ice at III (30m and 50m). From the snow bay at the top we headed straight up a mixed groove for a last 40m pitch of IV,4 before soloing grade I ground to the top. We have proposed the name Erica Roe's Gully to keep the 'Streaking' theme going ;-)
Much milder today, roadside snow is receding and the low lying icefalls will require care as the slow thaw proceeds.

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