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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Born Again

With my heart set on the classic Route major on Carn Etchachan, and john being 'well up for it' we set off at pace up the path and on to the high plateau to be met with high winds and clag (above), not good for climbing on the massive cliff of Carn Etchachan!

With that plan out the window we decided that Deep Cut Chimney iv/5****, a classic Patey route, and 'good value' in Hennings words. After some easy soloing on grade ii ice (right) the chimney takes form and splits the cliff in half, and gets deeper with hight. Some ice, most of it useless, was encountered on the first pitch (belwo). This led to a steep step in the gully with a fine ice pitch of about grade iv. Above this some easyer climbing with the odd chokestone thrown in here and there till the gully narrows and the way ahead becomes blocked. John was surprised when i suggested that we have to climb out to some blocked boulders in the chimney. But this was the only way out!

Some interesting back and footing followed then a couple of good but nervy hooks. The boulders were almost within reach but getting a good footing wasn't as easy as one would like, with icey verglass on one side. After a short while i figured out the move. With a good hook on the boulder i was on the top and clear of the chimney. John was impressed and soon followed to meet me on the top with a big grin on his face. His first cold climb, my second.

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