Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Proper climbing

Yeah! Went climbing and it was good. Walked in on Monday to the Black Ladders (which was in great nick) to find Llech Ddu looking nicely wintery, so seized the moment and did the 2nd ascent of Nick Bullock and Tim Neill's Central Grooves (4 pitches plus 100m grade 1). The first pitch proved pretty scary (or wiggy as Mr Bullock would say), poor hooks, very poor gear in the first half but then some nice moves past a fixed wire over a little overhang. I managed to link pitch 2 and 3 and this is the highlight of the route with a beautiful corner followed by some outrageous zig-zagging through roofs on overhanging turf. After the chimney pitch of the classic traverse I finished direct(ish) halfway up the obvious turfy corner then a delicate traverse left to glory. The route reminded me of a more committing version of Against All Odds the classic Glen Coe route. Luckily the forecasted afternoon snow didn't arrive and we walked out under a clear moonlit sky. The only other people we met were surprise surprise Nick Bullock and Tim Neill, who did Flanders summer direct - which according to half of the party was all a bit easy. Due to be cold all week - go get it!

 Llech Ddu with Black Ladders in the distance.
The line of Central Route
 Jon pulling through the small overhang at the top of pitch 1
Tilted pic but you get the idea. Me on the groove of pitch 2 
 Evening light from the top
 Moon and the Ladders