Saturday 19 January 2013


The view from the base of the route. Not too bad. 

On Tuesday myself, Matt Stygal and Adam Hughes took a wee wander up into Coire an Lochan and climbed the route Scrabble.
Scrabble climbs the first 10 or so meters of the classic Central Grooves, then breaks out up a series of grooves and chimneys to the left. It was put up by Mike "Twid" Turner and Louise Thomas back in 2000 or there abouts. Although I have heard of a couple of teams who have tried to repeat it, they all seem to have been put off by the lack of runners and holds in the section between leaving Central Grooves and the first belay.

Adam on the crux. 

Adam made an impressive lead of the crux first pitch. The the guidebook says that the section after leaving Central Grooves has "adequate gear". Adam didn't seem to convinced by this, in fact he took exception to that description, and suggested that Twid should be punched in the face for using the phrase "adequate gear" when in fact "nae gear" might be a better description. To be fair I suspect I might be rather vocal and concerned about my own personal safety should I be where Adam was.
Anyway Adam made it to the belay, and then suggested that Twid was a climbing monster, and it was a "F***ing good effort with leashes and dual point crampons". Something that I felt I agreed with after seconding the pitch.
I led the second pitch. It felt more like what Stob Coire climbing is all about; steep and sustained but with positive hooks and good gear.  Matt led a steep and exposed, but highly amenable chimney crack  and then a final long easier pitch to the top.
All in all it was a pleasant day out. I think Adam forgave Twid for his description, but if you are going to do it, I would take the phrase "adequate gear" with a pinch of salt.

 Seconding the crux. Some thin and tenuous climbing. At least I didn't have to worry about taking any runners out on this section. Matt behind can be seen on the section that is common with Central Grooves.

 Me leading the second pitch. Matt seems unconvinced by such a venture.