Fort William – January 2018

This year is the first that I am increasing the time I/we spend in Scotland. To kick off on the 19th January we set off to Fort William for our weekend with Mike. This is primarily to knock the rust off, and if we get anything good done, that’s a bonus. The journey up and back proved to be dramatic and not for the first time I cursed at not having a four wheel drive car. Saturday as predicted the weather was fine we headed to Aonach Dubh and B Buttress. Kevin myself and Bram did ‘Cyclops’ IV (5). Primarily a corner with a fine exit. We joined the others who climbed the Pinnacle face IV (4). A tricky little pitch onto the horizontal break in the buttress and some lunch before descending through alarming deep fresh snow in steep territory, Mike was not too concerned though.


Weather prospects for the following day were not promising and it turned out that way but not before we had travelled down to Bridge of Orchy and marched into Beinn Udlaidh. We walked up towards the crag on a good track but as we entered the corrie the wind increased blowing snow into the climbing faces, we continued for a while but as the snow depth increased we hoisted the white flag, turned about face and retreated.

The next opportunity was an unexpected one, our booked holiday in February i dropped Mike an email on the off chance he may have some spare time and surprisingly he did. So, on Monday 5th February i marched up to the CIC hut and we found that Zero Gully was in condition. This was a significant tick, as this was the first of the classic gullys on the north face i had completed.

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