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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Western Rib II/III

After another soggy night in Johns tent, this time in the sugar bowl car park, John and myself struggled to leave the relative warmth of or bags to don our cold damp clothing for another day on the hill.

The Corie Cas car park was empty when we arrived and only a couple of cars had arrived by the time we set off. With a light, but constant, snow falling we made our way up i to the high Corie, breaking trail thought ankle, knee and the odd pocket of waist deep snow made the going tough thus it took us longer than usual to reach the mountain rescue box just after dawn.

We were both keen to try the Seam but the cliffs in the Coire were plastered in ice and snow, also still feeling slightly groggy form the previous days outing, we decided to try an easier line. I'd looked at Western Rib ii/iii a couple of years ago but had never tried it.

We geared up and soled up goat track gully to the base of the route identified by a 'toadstool' shaped block. John led out up a corner that got steeper with height, this proved tricky to move in to but once firmly in good neve was found i the back. A powder laden slope led to the next belay. From here the way was clear and the crux was in sight. After climbing a short rib then a tricky traverse i found a reasonable belay were i brought john up to the stance.

A short wall lay ahead, this was climbed inch by inch after much scraping of the rock to clear the ice hiding any useful cracks and hooks. Next up was a fine rib to the plateau but to gain a stance on the rib i had to climb out of a gap, much like tower gap, after much pondering and scraping i found the good hook and a torque then finally committed to the moves. After that the way to the top was clear and easy ground lay ahead.


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