Thursday, 6 January 2011

Golden Oldie

Approaching the start of Golden Oldie on the W Face of Aonach Mor

Today was a chance for Rich and Allan to put their skills in to practice. We took the Aonach Mor Gondala up to 650m and headed round to the remote West Face. The classic route of the crag is a grade II called Golden Oldie which follows a prominent rocky spur to within a few meters of the summit. We had the same problem as yesterday with a good covering snow making for very time consuming climbing with protection hard to find. The steep start went in 2 pitches with both Rich & Allan taking a turn on the sharp end. We then moved together up the remainder of the route taking it in turns to lead and protect the group.

The weather was pretty good today with just a couple of heavy snow squalls blowing through. The north westerly wind had stripped the soft snow from the summit slopes but the rest of the route was still under a thick blanket with a few pockets of soft windslab. On the way down the popular East Face was very heavily corniced and it didn't look like anyone had been down Easy Gully. A crag to avoid in the current conditions. Today I was working for Adventure Peaks.

Rich enjoying the intricacies of pitch 1.

Plenty of snow making finding protection difficult.

Climbing in to a brief burst of sun.

Moving together on the easier upper section

Allan staying well clear of a large cornice