Friday, 18 February 2011

Quick blast up Dorsal Arete

Andrew enjoying traditional Scottish conditions

Today was the final day of my week with Andrew & Heather as part of their preparations for the Adventure Peaks Everest expedition in a few weeks time. With a plane to catch we were under a strict timetable so opted for a quick slog up to Stob Coire Nan Lochan and an ascent of Dorsal Arete (II). This is deservedly a very popular route and there were a number of teams heading that way. However with a bit of devious route finding in the clag we were able to get to the front of the queue and make a quick ascent in four pitches. The fin provided plenty of entertainment and provided a fitting climax to an excellent week despite the weather.
The approach slopes were heavily laden with wet snow but everything seemed pretty stable and the coire was a busy place. There were a number of international parties including teams on Central Grooves (VII 7) and Tilt (VI 7). We opted not to descend Broad Gully which contained plenty of spooky snow although a team had waded up while we were on Dorsal Arete.

Heather in action on a very snowy Dorsal Arete

A graceful exit at the top of the fin!

The safe option in these conditions

Andrew topping out on the fin