White Lies, new line in ice paradise, 15th December


Firstly I should let anyone interested in doing a Winter Traverse “the holy grail of Scottish Winter routes” know that it is pretty damn good condition and the forecast ahead is good.

Looking at the back of Am Basteir today

I’m not offering but just letting folk know. I’ve got lots of projects to go for in conditions like these and today was a good start-

I followed my own advice from Monday’s Blog and went to climb the amazing looking ice on the south face of Gillean today. We did a new route that takes a line of ice right of the existing route and have called it White Lies; grade IV,5. It was 280m long so the descent was largely done in the dark.

My Skye mates Beads & Ben were great cpompany; we all shared the task of breaking trail, were all blown away with the views & all of us got plenty of time on the sharp end.

It’s great when a plan comes together!

Coir’ a’ Bhasteir at its best

Basteir Tooth looking awesome.

 Ben studying possibilities; we took the main line of ice visible here but…

….this is the ice arena that greeted us when we could see the whole south face of Gillean

Ben belays Beads on pitch one; our line lies up right. The main line is White Dreams, 275 m IV,5 (2000)

Beads on the steep top step high on pitch one.

Ben’s Corner, pitch 3. This was a lot steeper than it looked with the ice fairly rubbish. Beads & I had to climb the vertical thicker ice to Ben’s left because of a big hole that appeared.

A happy Ben as Beads leads pitch 4; first time placements all the way.

Final pitch looking down the steep finish

Ben on the finishing swings