20th/12/2011 My Guiding & Instructing WebSite: http://www.elements.gb.net
Waking up at 08.30 this morning and having time to wrap some presents, post them, have breakfast and still get a route done and back off the hill by 15.00. There are some real plus points to living in Aviemore and having the accessible Northern Corries nearly on my door step!
Ian Murray and I wandered into the Corrie around 1100. Hoping to slot into the backshift, we headed up to an already busy Mess of Pottage. There were many teams on lots of routes, some making good progress, some slowed by all the clearing and a few teams in full retreat!
Ian and I knew there were still gaps to fill with no other teams on so we started to head towards ‘The Messenger’ but where pipped at the post by another team, who were later seen backing off the route 😦 Some you win, some you lose!
One thing is for certain when you climb with Ian, there’s never a quiet moment, only when the wind is blowing too hard to hear him is there any tranquility. He does however make the walk in’s and out’s pass ever so quickly.
We opted for the direct start to ‘Hidden Chimney’ (IV, V**), which had seen no one on it and I reckon has to be one of the best pitches of it’s grade in the Corrie. Awesome hooks and moves coupled with stonking gear, I’ve climbed and guided this route a lot now and it’s still a fine pitch every time. From here we moved up and joined the masses in the upper part of ‘Hidden Chimney’ (III*). Ian lead through here with not much ice about but again good mixed climbing up to the top, a fine lead by Mr Murray 🙂