Friday, 5 April 2013

Unfinished Gully

Yesterday Wally and I headed up to the Saddle to have a look at a line we spotted last weekend. It had looked continuous from floor to sky with good ice all the way so it seemed worth an early start and a bit of optimism.  The gully is the thinnest and steepest of three that split the wall to the right of the Whin Dyke.
When we arrived at the base, water was running behind the thin smear of ice where the gully exits the face so we walked up the right hand gully to where we could traverse in to see if we could set up a toprope.  No belays were forthcoming, so we entered the gully at the second pitch where the ice issues from a winding cleft. Here it was firmer and we followed a scrappy line with several small steps at about grade II.  A chockstone was easily passed on the left at the gully exit. The lower unclimbed section looked like it would be about grade III in fatter conditions. The climbing was fun, but aesthetically this was an ugly route with thin ice, frozen turf and just a little snow.

Gorgeous spring sunlight in Glen Sannox

Wally hunting for belays above the bottom section

Final chockstone
Still wintery in the hills!

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