Thursday, 22 May 2008

Clachaig Gully

Guy and I had an afternoon free so we decided to take advantage of the last couple of weeks' dry weather to ascend this 'classic' route. First climbed in 1938 (attempts dating back to 1894) the gully is graded Severe for dry conditions like those we found. Nowadays you enter the gully below the Great Cave pitch as lower down is both wetter and looser (after a rockfall a few years back) than the upper parts. We swung leads for a few (6?) pitches before switching to moving together and returning to pitching for a last couple of higher steps. Gear was adequate on most pitches but needed digging for under moss and care was required with the odd bit of loose rock. The climbing was mostly dry for us (I only found water running down my sleeve on the Red Chimney) and was quite nice and even delicate rather than thrutchy as you might expect from an old fashioned gully climb. Many of the holds were polished and clean and stood out clearly amongst the moss! A top afternoon finished off as tradition calls for with a cold wet a the Clachaig.