Saturday, 3 December 2011

Snatch from Sneachda, 'Damnation'

First winter route!  With the self imposed pressure of a 2pm deadline back at the car (I was trying to make the closing time of the Kennels down near Greyrigg, Cumbria where I'd abandoned my parents Collie for 36hrs) Mike and I headed into Corrie an t'Sneachda just after first light.  I needed to be back in time otherwise I'd be labeled an irresponsible dog sitter!

Anyway this was all forgotten when we landed in the snowy Corrie, we had a brief look at the guide and our watches and headed for Aladdins Buttress to go for Damnation, it was condition dependent according to the book, it's main corner easier if iced but harder to protect.

I set off for the first pitch which for us started from the bottom of Patey's route, great to be back on points and holding big bits of metal.  But I was being extra careful as I'd just two nights ago attended the Lakes Winter Ethics meet where we we're duly informed that when climbing a rocky mixed route -even when in condition (what ever that means) you will still be doing damage.  Oh well, the northern corries have been earmarked for destruction we're my thoughts...  I made reasonably speedy stop start progress up to belay below the main corner, Mikes turn.  Smooth, steady, careful, he should be he's a trainee guide, come on Mike get a move on!  Meticulous excavation of good wires, a loose flake used gently, lot's of careful footwork and he was up.  I followed, arriving with hot aches of course (full experience, pain with a smile...still horrible), once up and pain free I led off for a short elegant fun pitch with great hooks and a balancey finish to the abseil point at the top of Magic Crack.
Well it was about half and half, there was definitely some useful ice and also good gear, the third way, result!

Once we'd landed back at the car and said our 'bye for nows' I headed down the A9.  Half an hour late back, Ellie had to have another night at her hotel, though she looked like she actually enjoyed herself when I picked her up so the extra nights fee was the only damage done.

 Mike on the Crux pitch of Damnation VI, 6

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