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Thursday, 3 January 2013

New year, new routes in Glen Clova

The season so far was marked by colds, cold weekdays, warm weekends and as a result only one winter climb. It looked as if this trend would continue during the Christmas-Hogmanay holidays, with temperatures above 10 degrees forecast. Only New Year looked semi-decent and so Simon and I agreed to meet on the first day of 2013 at 10 am in Glen Clova for some new routeing. We decided to climb in corrie Farchal, which looked whiter than winter corrie just to the right. It can be reached via a bridge from the road, is 700 m high and best after snow and a thaw freeze:
http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=328060&y=773985&z=120&sv=328060,773985&st=4&ar=y&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf&dn=885&ax=328060&ay=773985&lm=0
When we approached the corrie I (not Simon) was surprised by the good conditions: neve, frozen turf, some ice and a dusting of snow. We soloed a gully line with some icy steps...

... like this one ...

 ... to reach a tech 4 cul de sac which Simon led to the top.

A lovely three pitch III,4 gully line overall. Surprising that this had been missed by the Dundonians for all these years. 

We quickly descended ...

... and started a left-facing corner...

...with some ice to the left...

... to finish again with a balancy but easier step. Another three pitch grade III.

Again a quick descent. The last climb was a more technical three pitch buttress with several quality tech 4-5 sections, IV,5 overall. It was escapable at times but was overall a good quality climb which included a 'threading the needle' tunneling bit. Here is Simon leading one of the trickier bits. 

We reached the cars at 17.30 h so in less than 8 h 3 three pitch routes and 400 m of climbing were done close to home out of the wind, in lovely conditions with some good climbing. What a good start to 2013! Only a pint in the Clova hotel, normally a must, was missing.
HW

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