Putting last weeks dismal performance behind me i was keen to get 'back on it' and try another iv/5. So i headed out with Stuart Kennedy up in to Corie an t-Sneachda to have a wee look at what was offer. The weather was wild and it became clear that it was going to be hard walking in to the Corie, never mind climbing there! But we made our way up anyway and after passing a couple of slower parties, i was surprised to be the first up there at such a late hour. I suggested we climb Fluted Buttress( iv/4***) but it looked plastered. So we headed to the Mess of Pottage to give Hidden Chimney Direct( iv/5**) a go.
A good pitch leads to easier ground above to join hidden chimney(ii/iii**). I won the quick game of scissor-paper-stone and thus won the crux (the only fair way to do these things). The corner is steep and slabby with good hooks and torques all the way. This leads to a short transverse over some snow covered slabs to a belay. The next two pitches consisted of easy climbing though on deep powder to a chimney that leads to the top. I stole both good pitches and owe Stuart the crux of the next route we do together!
But the main thing is that i didn't drop my axe!