Sunday 11 January 2015

Having the Ming

Myself on, or a least somewhere near, the top pitch of Inclination. We did not take a guide book and my memory of where the route went at the top was not perfect.

To me winter climbing is more about the situation than the necessarily having to do something at my limit. It is about watching and making the most of the weather and conditions. It is fair to say that this winter so far has not been the greatest in terms of winter conditions or weather. I have only manage out climbing three times so far, and on two of those days I have made the most of some pretty wild conditions

Before Christmas I did Inclination in Glen Coe. I had done this route before back in about 2002. Although the crag had been frozen at the time, it had been pretty black, and had always felt slightly guilty about climbing it in those conditions. This time however, it was properly wintery with some quite wild weather particularly as we topped out.  Getting down to the car, it felt like honour had been restored.

Next up just after Christmas I did Kellets North Wall route on Ben Nevis with Murdoch. However this was quite a nice day, so does not fit with the theme of this post, so might try and write about this in a future post.

Today the weather forecast was crap, but myself, Guy Steven and Paul Swail (Paul's description of the day can be seen here) decided to head out anyway. The weather turned out to be just as bad as forecast.We did The Great Chimney on the side of Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis. At grade IV,5 it was not exactly the hardest route I have done, but it was satisfying. For me the experience of battling up and easier route in wild conditions can be just as enjoyable as a hard route on a good day. The pictures below should give you a feeling for the day.

Walking in, thinking perhaps it will be a bit nicer round the corner. It wasn't!

Guy enjoying a gap between spindrift avalanches. 

Myself truly having the ming near the top.