Thursday, 17 March 2011

5th Ascent of Dorsal Arete this season

Sue on a very snowy Dorsal Arete (II)

For the next 3 days I've been joined by regulars Sue & Jude to continue their Scottish winter apprenticeship. With far more snow to play with than at the beginning of February we opted to carry on where we left off and headed straight up to Stob Coire Nan Lochan to climb the classic Dorsal Arete (II). The teams of the last couple of days had done a good job and there was a reasonable trench to the foot of the route although the constant spindrift had done a good job of filling everything in. An early start meant we were first on the route and everything was going fine until the crux fin where I managed to drop an axe. We topped out just as a major squall arrived necessitating a quick descent to the corrie floor. While Sue & Jude enjoyed lunch in the sun I was able to scoot up and retrieve my lost axe from half way up Forked Gully before the long descent to the car and a coffee in the Clachaig.

The corrie was busy today with plenty of teams on Dorsal Arete and others on Spectre, Ordinary Route, Scabbard Chimney, Raeburn's Route and Crest Route. Some of the approach slopes were a bit suspect and their was plenty of additional loading taking place on the strong south westerlies.

Jude & Sue on the belay below the crux fin

Sue topping out on the Dorsal Fin closely followed by a number of other teams!

Sue on the steep exit moves

Team Glasgow following us up the route

Conditions in Stob Coire Nan Lochan today

More conditions with Dorsal Arete on the right.

The west face of Aonach Dubh this evening