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Monday, 1 December 2008

Finger ridge IV,4***

The forecast suggested a fine calm day for Saturday. So Adam Henley and myself hatched a plan to tackle the respectful fingers ridge iv4 in Corie an t Sneachda. leaving Aberdeen at a ridiculously early time, we manage to reach the Corie cas car park for half 6 and this puts us high in the Corie at the mountain rescue box, were we bump in to another group from Aberdeen, just after dawn. the crag looks dry, not a great amount of snow around or rymie ice on the rocks but still in good condition for mixed climbing.

We gear up at the box and say out good lucks and goodbyes to John, Pete and Roy and set of for the route. The bottom proved to be tricky with iced up steps before i could arrange a good belay. I lead out by down climbing slightly then starting the traverse pitch, which although isn't really that steep until the end, proved more thought provoking than it would appear. Managing to get a good look at the second pitch while i brought Adam up the the belay stance, it looked like the fun was about to begin, steeper climbing lay ahead. The forecast was right, clear sky's and light winds ensured many walkers were heading up the goat track, getting a front seat view of us on the ridge.

The climbing soon steepens up with the moves and the exposure gained as i moved up made the climbing joyful and exciting. I climbed the fat rib 'til it was possible to cross in to the grove. Trying firstly to climb the left wall of the grove but this proved too hard, so i had to make a slightly desperate traverse back right in to the groove. This was climbed by way of jamming my thigh and lower torso in the wide crack at the back. Good hooks and torques make the climbing straight forward though enjoyable. Adam soon seconded me with ease until he had the airy traverse to deal with. Much humbling followed, then with a little hesitation he committed himself to the move. Next he had the groove to tackle, which he did in good style and with out any great difficulty.

After a short corner the ridge becomes narrow and exposed on both sides and farther up ahead the finger pinnacles that give the route it's name. i climbed through the middle of the two fingers and gaining a stance on the left one produced some interesting moves. The route then followed the wall straight in front of me to the top, but i notice a small corner to the right and traverse in to this. Climbing the corner proved to be harder than it looked at first, with a couple of nervy torquing moves i reach easy ground and the top. Bringing Adam up i can tell he's enjoying the moves as the time he spends in the corner and the huffing and puffing coming up from below. Soon he joins me though and we're both pleased, two happy chaps.

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