Monday, 11 February 2013

South Buttress Gully Blabheinn

Another nice morning on Skye

George (16) and Julian (slightly older) racing up snow

A great atmospheric gully

Julian and George climbing into the sunshine

The Cuillin looking snowy, unfortunately couldn't fit the whole ridge in

Happy father and son team 

Another fantastic view out to sea

Down climbing on perfect neve
After yesterdays skills day Julian and George were keen to push their limits and get involved in some gully climbing.  This was George's first time on graded terrain and remarkably climbed very well.  He was quick and efficient and everything was 'not bad' for him which is great.  We climbed South Buttress Gully (II) which produced 2 tricky pitches of ice climbing pitches (top end grade II, if not udging into III) with plenty of helpful snow in between.  The conditions were great on the route, brilliant ice for axes but it didn't take screws very well.  We topped out into the sunshine and proceeded onto the Summit for an amazing view of the Cuillin ridge which looked plastered with snow. Ice was forming in various places and Mike was out with his client on Escape from Colditz (III) and said the ice was stonking after a wee bit of front and back footing on rock.  We saw one other couple out heading up Great Gully (I) to gain quick access to the summits who were accompanied by a tiny little dog who made a solo ascent of the gully.  Very impressive.  We made our descent down Great Gully which is very banked out was an easy option under the conditions of today.

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