Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

After a big climb yesterday on Sickle, Rintje and I went for a more mellow route in Glen Coe today. We climbed Number Six Gully on the West Face of Aonach Dubh which has a short (but steep) approach and a quick and easy descent. The climbing is in a brilliant position, overlooking The Clachaig and Glen Coe village. A little light snow last night was blowing around this morning but the sun came out this afternoon to take the edge off another cold day.

Number Six Gully is not well iced up. It has enough ice to climb and it was fun but the ice is in blobs stuck to the rocks beneath. It will not take much of a thaw to strip it out. Protection is not great with ice screws on the pitches but the belay stances are very large and friendly with rock anchors so at least the belays are as good as you want them to be.

Strangely the wee direct finish in the corner above the main ice pitch of the normal route is quite well iced. I have seen less ice on it when the route lower down is much better formed. So Rintje and I climbed this and thought IV,5 is about right. It brings you onto the traverse ledge where a walk right (towards Stob Coire nam Beith) gets you into the coire for a sandwich and an easy descent.

There is good looking ice on Stob Coire nam Beith including in Deep Cut Chimney. The crags of Bidean nam Bien are well rimed up and look brilliant.

As we walked down the sun came out and gave us a spectacular view of Glen Coe. Another beautiful day.

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