Sunday, 19 February 2012

A short Sunday bimble

I awoke at 4am to the sound of 'In the Air Tonight' (the Nonpoint cover) in preparation for my first visit to Lochnagar. The forecast of snow and sub zero temps had me on the edge of my.....well, bed. Alas, it was not to be as the A93 was closed due to the snowfall. Disappointment? Or blessing in disguise?

I was climbing today with Mark. We'd not met before but had had a day out planned for a while and had set the objective of the Southern sector at Lochnagar. A quick selection of Plan B in the car and we headed up the A9 to the safe bet - Northern Corries. Thanks to the early start we were the first on the scene but were left wondering if everyone else knew something we didn't!

After waiting at the snow gates for a while then quickly gearing up we headed up towards Mess of Pottage, as we couldn't see any other crags we thought this would give us a couple of solid options. We intended on the Haston Line III,4 (or IV, 4 in the other book?) but after the hard slog up there we went for the not-so-knackering option of Jacobs Edge. 

The route is pretty good in that you can pick your own line anywhere between I-IV. We picked a couple of blocky sections that made the route about II overall.

The clag started to lift and offered some nice views of the rest of the corrie. How silly I was to think we might be in the corrie on our own! I could count around 40 people, just that I could see, and 20 of those people must have been on Aladdin's Couloir! 

Just as is my extraordinary luck these days we topped out just as the sun broke through the cloud. Lovely scenery right over the back to the Loch Avon basin, with Carn Etchachan shouting "climb me, climb me!" Also, the earliest i've been at the top of a climb, 12:30. We had time to do another route, but we were content with our Sunday morning bimble; we'd got some fresh air, seen some sunshine and got a route under our belts. Back down for tea and biscuits and home in time for dinner was the order of the day. Cheers for the company Mark!

I fear this could be one of the last days of winter I will see this year, with major thaw setting in for this week. Here's to trad climbing in March!

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