Sunday, 13 January 2013

A snowy North Buttress

Snow all the way from the road on the approach to the Buchaille

The snow has arrived on the west coast of Scotland! As forecast it snowed for most of the night down to around 300m. Looking for a shorter day with some fun climbing we headed for North Buttress (IV 4) on the Buachaille, a reliable option in most conditions with the added advantage that you can ab off after the difficulties.  Please be aware that some of the obvious spike anchors are now very loose needing a good freeze to lock them in place.
There was plenty of snow from the road which increased significantly in depth as we gained height. The approach is over some good mountaineering terrain which was very time consuming in the unconsolidated conditions.The route itself was a good challenge with copious amounts of clearing but positive hooks and good gear. We abbed off after a couple of hours and were back at the van in daylight. Our footsteps from the morning had been filled in with almost constant snow showers during the day but there had been something of a thaw back down by the road (300m).This weekend I've been working for Adventure Peaks on a guided climbing course.

Magda enjoying the mountaineering ground below North Buttress

Burrowing out of the initial chimney on North Buttress

 Approaching the first belay in windless conditions

Sherpa Ambassador Heather Geluk at the first belay

Descending after a great climb

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