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Excellent over the Back

Loch Avon Basin

My Guiding and Instructing Website:         Date: 30th / 12 / 2011

Just finished a couple of very enjoyable days work with a real highlight, the Tom Patey classic that is Route Major (IV-5****) over on Carn Etchachan. Sometimes (well pretty much all the time) I love my job.

Steve, glad to be on the downhill into Loch Avon

Steve is up from Exeter and had been wanting to get a big route done. With the weather being so poor on the West and the Ben not an option, we made plans to head over the back. We were pleased with our choice to escape the Norries as we topped out on the Goat Track in the early morning light to see the herds of folks heading for Sneachda.

Steve blazing a trail through the snow

There were a few other teams over the back. Shelter Stone had attracted a couple of teams and to my amazement the second team of three to get there opted to follow the first team up Postern!  Think some head torches and goggles might be getting tested tonight…

Some more technical climbing

I’ve never climbing Route Major before so was excited to guide this famous route. There’s always a feeling of intrepidation when guiding a route you’ve not climbed before that’s quite remote. Will we move fast enough, will we have enough day light, will the conditions allow us to finish the route, will we enjoy it???

‘Yes’ was the answer to all my questions. We topped out at 14.00 and arrived back at the car park before  we needed our head torches, having enjoyed a great climb. Some of the highlights are the chimney pitch (some Tom Patey thrutching to be had) and the final pitches up the v-corner and finishing chimney. Patey could pick a great climb.

White and wintery walking out

As we walked out and down towards the ski car park, the snow quickly turned to rain as the temperature climbed. Temps for tomorrow are supposed to be up at 6-8 degrees at 900m so a big melt down happening. It won’t last long though as temps are set to drop back down below freezing into the New Year.

Happy New Year folks!




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