Wednesday, 8 September 2010

South Souwester Slabs

Final post in what for me has been a blogging marathon! Time to get out there and do some stuff....
I cut my Sutherland trip short because Wally was at home on Arran sitting under a high pressure system without a climbing partner.  The opportunity was too good to miss (weather good enough to climb doesn't often coincide with both of us being available these days...).

The day dawned a lot darker and damper than we'd hoped and we decided to head for Cir Mhor, a favourite stamping ground with reliable rock and less seepage than other Arran crags. The picture above shows the south ridge, whose direct line is one of the island's classics. The other classic route here is Souwester Slabs, a V Diff that we have done a few times.  This time we decided to join up the dots by heading up South Souwester- a more direct line, that starts to the right of Souwester Slabs, crosses it, follows cracks to the left, before joining it under a massive roof and following the same line to the top.  This route gets Severe.

Wally led most of the route, and the first pitch was the crux. Near the top of the pitch a small roof requires either confident jamming or delicate laybacking to bypass. Wally opted for the jams and thugged his way up impressively.  I followed and with some "tension" from the top rope managed the delicate layback option.
The second pitch was a beaut. Fantastic cracks and gorgeous granite slabs. Photo below!


I led off the second stance- primarily because this involves an awkward step down and across and this seemed to be the best way to protect me.  I'm not a confident leader, but with hindsight I could have led all the way up to the roof and perhaps there would be some justification for claiming alternate leads.  Alas I chickened out and belayed on the lower slab and Wally led the rest of the route. Ambition for 2011 season- get back in to leading properly. This will require a bit more motivation and focus on my part.  I'm inherently lazy and my partner is a solid and reliable leader. Lucky me!

2 comments:

Peter Duggan said...

Still hoping to hit Cir Mhor with your solid and reliable leader and you sometime! :-)

Lucy Wallace said...

Hi Pete- yeah there were some guys on West Flank Route when we got back to our bags. Watched them on the crux and thought of you. Nails.