Wednesday 14 November 2012

The oldest and the driest routes in the Glen today

After a wet SPA Training over the last 2 days (thanks to Scott for day 2 yesterday), today i was working with Sally and Kate from the UHI Adventure Tourism Management course. The vehicle for their assessment was rock climbing problem solving but its part of a wider module in incident management that they will be working on. It was a busy day with 6 Mountain Instructors out with teams from the College and Ben, Scott and I headed for Glen Nevis. Thanks to the chap from JMT who we negotiated access to the crag with Glen Nevis is closed today and tomorrow as the JMT use a helicopter in the aware to do repair work on the Steall path).
We went to Hangover Buttress and started on the oldest recorded route in the Glen a moderate that is easily split into 2 pitches. A knot appeared in front of the second on the first pitch and the leader dropped their belay plate at the top of the second but these were trivial problems and the team were soon arranging a retreat from the top of the crag.... and when the ab rope jammed being pulled through the other end was dug out for leading back up to free it (real problem- no scenario required)!
Then the heavens opened, heavy rain and hail so we ran away to Cross 3. This diff is a gently rising traverse that is tucked under a massive roof. Although it was dripping and seeping the rock under the roof stays dry in even the heaviest rain and Sally lead across placing a runner every metre or so as the ground fell away to give a great pitch for the grade. As Kate seconded across she fell off swinging into unclimbable ground so Sally arranged an assisted hoist. Next Kate led the same route and this time Sally injured an arm and was unable to climb or help hoist so Kate had to do all the work herself.
 Oldest recorded route in the Glen Pitch 1 for Kate...
 ...pitch 2 for Sally
 Dry rock on a rainy day
 Hiding from the rain
 Out from under the roof
 Kate takes a break from leading for a drink
 Kate doing all the work
She Hulk (green toes)
We finished the last hour with some further training on lowering and abseiling past a knot before heading back to the College and the warmth and dry.