Friday 19 November 2010

Daim Buttress

No partner today but I wanted a good workout for the legs as tomorrow I'm working in the morning, off to Kendal for the KMFF party at night and then off to El Chorro for a week on Sunday.
I got dropped off with my bike at Nevis Range and cycled (the gondola is closed until 18 Dec for annual maintenance) up to the dams on the Allt Daim at about 300m. From there it was a long trudge up the glen and to the base of the summit ribs at about 900m. The snow was soft and the rock either bare or patinaed by melting ice. I chose Daim Buttress because it gets a couple of stars and I've done Golden Oldy and Western Rib several times.
It gave a couple of hundred metres of rocky corners and grooves- enlivened by a short ice pitch in the watercourse to the left- past some tat and a krab that was well encased in a boss of ice. The crux wall is a steep rock slab climbed by grooves on its left edge. I had 'a moment' fishing over the top of a bulge hanging off an undercut. I wanted a bomber placement to pull up on as a fall from there would not have been pretty. I got one. At this point (about 1020m) the turf was mostly solid but the rock black although cracks were choked with ice. A little higher (1065m) and everything was rimed and that got thicker and the snow underfoot firmer up onto the plateau.
Heading along to the Ski Patrol hut started in a whiteout but the clouds cleared enough to let me see a snowy and well rimed Coire an Lochain (that side of the mountain seems to have been sheltered from the 'hair dryer' wind that had thawed the lower rocks on the west face.
On my way back down to the bike I played tag with an arctic hare who I stumbled upon 3 times (1 distinctive black ear). Then I dropped down the World Champ X Country course which was a bit strange in my Scarpa Phantoms!
Enjoy some snowy adventures whilst I'm in the land of sun, limestone, bolts and red wine!

Daim Buttress from Alan Halewood on Vimeo.

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