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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Smith's Gully

The weather people had predicted a hard overnight frost, sun and low winds during the day. Plenty of reasons to take the day off. Here is Helen walking into Creag Meagaidh...

... and here is our target, Smith's gully, on Pinnacle Buttress. We overtook a tired team that also wanted to do it but being first at the bottom of the route is what counts. Smith's gully is the cleft to the left of the highest part of the buttress and was climbed by Jimmi Marshall and Grahame Tiso in step cutting style in 1959 and is rated V/VI,5****.

We had heard that the first pitch was the crux at the moment with a lot of steep, sometimes dinnerplating ice followed by an ice chimney. 45 m of lactate producing climbing all the way to the belay.

Helen then led the second pitch with good snow ice...

... to belay half way up...
... and I led the third pitch to the Appolyon ledge. No evidence for a recent Crab Crawl. Helen then led what is normally the crux . It was stepped, the placements were good and Helen climbed very well...

... while I did the easy exit pitch to the sunny plateau. Here again Pinnacle Buttress and behind the fat Post face...

... and here a last shot of the Corrie before leaving the shade which made photographing routes impossible.

On the path there was evidence for large avalanches but today the whole place was well consolidated due to current freeze-thaw cycles.

HW

4 comments:

Ben Ranson said...

I know this is a little off topic for your post, but I remember a while ago you were talking about someone's masters dissertation looking at conditioning for winter climbing, I was wondering what had become of this? Did they finish it, is it available? Cheers in advance!

Ryan & Henning said...

Hi Ben, unfortunately it wasn't a master piece. I am sorry it wasn't even a mediocre piece of work. So there is nothing to show. Sorry, Henning

Granite Counters said...

Oh...it was really nice and beautiful...

Osse said...

very nice .. yesterday i was looking for the same topic but i didn't find any thing .. but after reading this i am very happy because finally i got it :) and thanks for the links i would like to bookmark your site can I ?
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