Friday, 31 October 2008

NE Coire Beinn Achaladair

Today Lorenzo and I went to the hills above Loch Tulla near Bridge of Orchy. Lorenzo has a Summer ML Assessment coming up so we navigated feature to feature into the NE Coire of Beinn Achaladair. We were hoping to bag a short winter route on the highest crags but were really surprised at the amount of water ice around. We chose a short ice choked gully between 'Spirit Level' and the col to its right. This gave a fun pitch of Grade III ice. Ok it was a little hollow and there was water behind it in many places but it was still up to 6 inches thick. From the top of that we headed up right of the col to the highest crags which we could see were rimed. We opted for 'Premonition' described as a 65m 'sustained' Grade IV. The turf was much more solid up here (thankfully because if what we climbed was IV I'm getting old and Lorenzo reckoned it harder than mixed 5s in the Northern Corries) and Lorenzo started off with an off balance, thin traverse into a belay at the base of a central groove. I then got 4om of excellent mixed climbing. Initial delicate walls gave way to a very butch overhung groove near the top. Top value! We finished with a shorter easier pitch. Sorry about the repetitive photos below but I love the sequence of grimaces as Lorenzo comes up the steep groove :-)

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