My Website: www.elements.gb.net Date: 16/01/2012
After what felt like a very busy weekend directing two back to back Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland Level 1 Avalanche Awareness courses (try saying that fast after a couple of whiskeys!), I’m now on five days of Elements private guiding with a regular client, Gordon Wills.
Gordon’s travelled all the way up from Brighton to climb in Scotland this week, he’s been up a few times before for winter hits but this is the barest conditions he’s ever seen. I knew I’d need to try and find something good to please him after his long journey North and Hells Lum (II-III****) did the trick.
It felt quite exciting and exposed at times due to the sun hitting the ice higher up above the Lum but with some well placed belays and some swift climbing we dodged through untouched, well almost!
The middle step in the Lum is the crux. Normally an icy step, today it was a 6m vertical wall of super thin ice. It was almost time to engage reverse thrusters and run away, but after a test pull on some thin placements it felt good and proved to be the highlight of the climb. It added a couple of grades to the route, making it all a bit more sporting!
This route is not super continuous or hard but the cleft that it follows through the cliff and the ice lines that it passes makes for a great wintery journey.
Some news just in from a visiting strong Welsh team of Big Tim Neill and not so small Keith (bulldozer) Ball – they just reported back from having shuffled side ways for a full day along the crags of Creag Meagaidh, ticking the ultra classic Crab Crawl.