Saturday, 21 February 2015

Soggy Skye

Rambling our way up we found this impressive and fun chimney, so we climbed it.  

Water pouring of the ice. Things would have been superb if it had been 5 degrees colder. Unfortunately it was not. 

Looking back along the ridge. Not too bad a view. 

A few days after the Shield Direct, Iain Small and myself decided to take a gamble and head up to Skye. It had been cold, and we thought that there might be some good ice. The forecast was for it to turn slight milder, but with the freezing level forecast to be around 600m we thought that things higher up would be okay and it would be worth the gamble.

So after a good day's ski touring (which I will write about later) I headed up and dossed in the care near Kyle of Lochalsh. The alarm went off at five, and after breakfast in bed (well my sleeping bag),  I stepped outside to some sub-tropical air. The snow that had been on the ground when I had parked up the previous night had gone. It was also drizzling. Iain appeared from accommodation (his car). It did not look to good, we grumbled a bit but decided we might as well go and have a look.

Things were a bit more promising an hour later at the car park. Although mild, it had stopped drizzling and we started walking. As it grew light ,a a bit of whiteness on the higher crags tempted us on. Finally reaching the crag we found some amazing looking ice lines which were unfortunately pouring with water. Iain hit the ice, slush spattered off, it was not a day for hard climbing.

After a bit of faffing and wondering what to do, we rambled up on to the ridge in a sort of mountaineering style, finding quite a cool 60 metre grade IV chimney which we climbed (an existing route, which I have forgotten the name of). This took us up on the ridge just as it cleared, giving us  great views down into Loch Coruisk.  We wandered down nice and early, reaching the car just before the rain came on. Although we didn't get to climbed what we had planned, it was nice to see the place, and get up onto the ridge in winter. I am certainly inspired to return when hopefully all the drools of ice return and are not rapidly melting.

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