Sunday, 11 January 2009

Rain and Wind - Sat 10th Jan '09

Well, the forecast was disgusting this weekend! Winds of 50-60mph with gusts of 90 for Saturday (and rain, with snow on higher tops) and winds of 60-70 with gusts of 100mph for Sunday.
Andy had been soloing at Lochnagar on Friday (maybe another 2 new routes) so dropped into mine for the weekend. I had thought about some new routing but the place I had in mind was a bit too low really (next time though if it gets colder!) so we decided to have a nosy up Clova way. We were sure the ice from last weekend would have thawed and that it would be too windy anway, but there was a slight chance that B Gully might be complete enough to climb then lower from, rather than top out into the gusting wind and having an epic!
Corrie Fee is a gorgeous wee corrie and as I'd not been there for years I'd forgotten how easy a walk in it is! If only it came into condition more often as it's only just under an hours drive away and almost a flat walk in.
As ever my eyes are drawn to the Buttresses rather than the ice falls but I can understand why folk like Look C Gully. However, B Gully Buttress, The Comb and a steep and heavily vegetated Crestal Clear were the routes that caught my eye.
Unfortunately, although B Gully was complete (just!) it looked a bit minging for my liking. The approach was bare of snow and was steep rubble, the snow looked dirty and the ice pitch looked VERY lean! Under the weather conditions (driving wind and rain) it was too dangerous to attempt (thankfully, as much as I love climbing, grotty gullies aint my cup of tea!) We took lots of photos of the cliffs, then found a wee howf under the rocks to take shelter in and eat some food and ponder over the guidebook. Simon Richardson wrote this section of the guide, not Andy and he didn't know the area well enough and I can understand why Adam is so keen on the place as it really is a very pretty corrie.
Only one of my photos turned out. The rest were all blurred due to camera shake from the wind. We didn't bother going up the hill as we've both been up these hills and even though I find the wind exhilarating, a cozy house and cuppy was calling.

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