Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Runnel

On Boxing day we managed to get out and do our first winter climb of the season. We opted for a nice easy day to get into the swing of things and so went for a 3 pitch grade II in Coire an t-sneachda. The route, called The Runnel, was a brilliant climb that followed a gully up Fluted Buttress, topping out through a tricky wee chimney.

We just drove up for the day and so had to leave super early (4am)....I don't think I will ever get used to this, no matter how good the climbing is! After a big can of Red Bull and a very foggy drive we made it to a quiet and dark car park. Stupidly, I had lost my headtorch and so the start of the walk in was interesting....I led us wayyyy off the path and down towards Coire an Lochain!

Once we made it to the bottom of the climb it was nice and sunny and the climb looked in perfect condition. We kitted up and scrambled up to the first belay and Neill took off on pitch one. After seconding up, I set off on my first proper winter lead. It was a very enjoyable pitch up the gully and then I ran out of rope and faffed trying to find a belay and ended up with the most uncomfortable stance ever! However, it didn't dampen my excitement and I had a great time following Neill up the chimney pitch to finish.

After having some leftover x-mas soup at the top, we headed back to the car. It's safe to say that my legs were feeling it! Weak calves! (not baby cows!)

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