Tuesday 19 May 2009

Monday in the mountains.

This post on UKC: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=353378 got me thinking about Marathon Ridge. Beinn Lair is a really remote mountain and the routes on it are mongst the most rarely climbed easy routes in the UK. The logisitcs of getting to the base of these wild crags pts many off but I have a secret weapon - an inflatable canoe! Dave was up for an adventurous day's mountaineering but after a late start due to Sandy, my 10 month old son, it was 11.15 before we launched out onto Loch Maree. A 25 minute paddle through a heavy swell and choppy waters took us to Furnace on the north shore. We climbed quickly to Bealach Mheinnidh and traversed through Bealach a Chuirn before descending the Glen to the base of our imposing route, rising steeply 400m above us. We soloed up to the crux chimney which gave us 2 pitches of damp, loose, thrutching trying not to send too much loose rock down. From here we soloed again to where we found the rope mentioned above in a corner. There were scars from much loose rock having fallen recently. Carefully we followed up removing the gear we could easily reach - we also trundled a massive block perched precariously on the route. We were glad to be on the final arete (it is defintiely worth sticking to the cleaner more exposed rock on the nose from low down) and topped out just as the rain that had been threatening all day arrived. We headed off down from the summit at speed to stay warm and arrived at the boat to find the wind had dropped completely. We made it back to the opposite shore a little over 6 hours after we set out only to find that the Torridon midge and arrived for the summer season in our car park as we stripped off our damp clothes. A great adventurous day out and we will reunite the recovered gear with it owners.

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