With the Cuillin being dry and low-level ice gone it was time to travel in search of some high altitude turf. Francis called Martin Moran who confirmed that we were barking up the right tree and a rendezvous of 6am in Lochcarron organised. A good dump of overnight snow put the rendezvous in doubt but, having both successfully made that I made the mistake of thinking the hard part was over.
Lochcarron at 6am Saturday.
Cutting a long story short we learnt, the hard way, about climbing in Coire nan Fhamair on the biggest baddest cliff on Beinn Bahn:
1. Leaving the car at 7am is too late; despite feeling like an easy 2hr approach it was already 10-30 when we reached the bottom of the Great Overhanging Gully.
2. “Popping up the turfy start pitch” is not a good mental approach; it only looks an easy angle because the next overhang is so ludicrous.
Out of time when only 20m off the ground is pretty hard to take after a 3am start but this cliff doesn’t do consolation. We salvaged sanity by returning over the summit plateau for great views into Coire na Poite and the back of the Cioch Nose.
Coire na Poite; Mad Hatter’s, V, is the obvious large gully, complete but thin. Ice on the face is more prominent on the Cooler VI than Silver Tear V.
Hopefully Francis has had more joy on his adventures with Martin and Murdo today.