Monday 23 January 2012

East-side dash..

Jen enjoying pitch 1 of Ventricle
With just one day off in between the ME/Cotswold courses, I had signed up to get involved in the BMC International Winter Meet today. The main reason being that my friend Jen Olson is on the meet and it meant we could go climb together. I met Jen a couple of years ago on an American Alpine Club International Meet in Indian Creek and ever since we've been promising to go winter climbing together.
Today was the day!

Jen on Pitch 4 - the off width crack
After an early start in Ballachulish I met Jen at Glenmore Lodge and we headed out with everyone else into the Northern Corries. Jen and I headed for Coire an Lochain, although I wasn't really sure what we were going to get on. Jen is mountain guide and all round wad, but she hasn't climbed in Scotland before, so we thought about getting on something easy as a warm up but in the end we decided that we'd take advantage of awesome mixed conditions and headed for Ventricle VII,8. What a great route it follows a load of grooves and then has a steep little offwidth crack aswell. By total chance Jen got the bolder pitches and dispatched them with style, whilst I felt a bit rusty with the tools but kept the side up!

Continuing up Pitch 4

Elsewhere people were climbing things all over the place, a word of warning though - WATCH OUT FOR UNFROZEN LOOSE BLOCKS! Poor Simon Frost took a rock to his helmet and was still looking a bit dazed this evening.

Nick Bullock decided to get amoungst things and set off up Pic and Mix, only to think it was too easy and continue straight up for a direct finish where everyone else has stepped out right - he described it as "emotional"! Good skills old (grumpy) man - oh and untuck the trousers Bullock!

Back to the grindstone tomorrow - if you can call a few nice days out on the hill with a bunch of keen people the grindstone!

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