Monday, 1 March 2010

Win some... lose some...

I was going to go to the North West today but I was lured to Mull by Colin's photos in hopes of a new route.
Guy and I got up at stupid o'clock to catch a ferry and drive down Mull. It was a truely stunning morning and we could see ice streaks on both crags from the road.... but it didn't look fat....
We flogged up the short steep hillside to Creag Brimishgon first to find steep hollow ice well detached from the basalt. People often describe ice features as 'cigars' this was more like matchsticks stuck together with a little water, often overhung by upturned crowns of thorns- massive windblown chandeliers. We swung an axe or two but the curtains were thin.... very thin and with water flowing too we didn't fancy the ice with no protection. We waded back and forwards in snow up to our waists at times before self preservation took over and we headed back to the car to drive to Creag a Ghaill.
Here there were a few longer lines but again they were thin, thawing and every route looked to have a section of almost blank wall on it. After inspecting 3 lines we waded up an easier looking gully but even there the snow was rotten and (barely) lying on blank basalt slabs.
Win some... lose some... stunning weather, somewhere I've never been and the rack we carried was so comprehensive that we got plenty of exercise taking it for a walk!
My father in law climbed at Steall today (very busy) and some brave souls have waded into Ben Nevis to climb Vanishing Gully and Fawlty Towers over the weekend. Still ice to go for at Udlaidh (heavily corniced on the left, better on the right). Big avalanches on the west face of Stob Coire nan Lochan today.... the snow higher up still has a way to go to settle.

1 comment:

Steve Jones said...

Pleased to see there are others willing to take a look on Mull ! Here full time so little choice. Will let you know.