Friday, 18 January 2013

Great Gully and North Buttress

Nice bit of grade III ice

John enjoying the ice
Abseiling off
Still windy higher up
John finishing the last tricky pitch on North Buttress
Final day for John and we were really psyched for having another good day.  The forecast was for strong south easterly winds increasing with height.  We headed down into Glencoe and headed for North Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor.  We geared up where the path crosses Great Gully and spotted that the water course was nicely frozen.  I suggested we follow it up and see how high we can get.  So after soloing some grade I ice with a few grade II steps we were blocked by a steep pitch of ice.  We popped a rope on and I dragged the rope to the top.  My North Buttress rack didn't consist of ice screws but they weren't necessary as the ice was like toffee, it was super fun.  And best of all, the wind wasn't getting to us.  After this pitch we traversed onto North Buttress and got stuck into the high winds and mixed climbing.  We climbed all the way to the top of the difficulties which was brilliant and exciting with the strong gusts.  Alot of the snow had been blown off so we were able to use our gloved holds on the rock to make progress on some sections.  We abseiled off passing Nigel and his mate who had decided to call it a day after one pitch.  It was a great end to a great week and I looking forward to getting back out with John in March.  Off to the North-West for the next 3 weeks so will hopefully get some great routes done through work and some amazing days out on my days off.

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