Sgurr Mor FannaichHighland, SCOTLAND
Climbs 10 – Rocktype Schist – Altitude 900m – Faces NE
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In this feature from the British Mountain Guides, a qualified and experienced guide takes you through one of Scotland's most beautiful winter routes.
Here Owen Samuel picks out Resurrection on Sgurr Mor Fannaich.
"Resurrection is a North West Highlands snow and ice classic of alpine proportion. The length and nature of the climbing assures you'll get your money's worth and you bag yourself a Munro or two to boot."
Route Info: Resurrection
Approach: The good thing about the long approach walk, is that you're likely to have the route to your self. This only serves to enhance the sense of adventure on this remote climb. It's 7.5km from the A835 parking at Lochdrum. With an ascent of only around 500m to the foot of the climbing. The rough terrain under foot makes this a 3hr walk.
The first of 7 or 8 pitches is fantastic pure ice climbing, with ice screws and rock belays, turf gear and pegs are also recommended. The next few pitches are on snow but if you're cunning you can get rock belays on the left side of the big open snow field. On my ascent I took a line direct and left of the normal line and found lots of great climbing. Another nice ice pitch leads to another snow field with some tricky belay finding. Now the head wall finishes the route off in spectacular fashion climbing steeper ice scoops through rocky terrain in two lovely pitches, finishing with a, heart in mouth, cornice to cut through.
Best tactics for an ascent: Be ready to get creative with making belays. A strong experienced team may chose to solo the middle snow field, The central/normal line on the face has less technical climbing and allows the climber to out flank the cornice, but here you are forced to use multiple snow belays.
Descent: Standing on top of Sgurr Mor gives fine views across to Sgurr Nan Clach Geala where the hard classic ice and mixed route Sky Scraper Buttress is found. Take note of the conditions on this crag as it has one of the longest walks in Scotland and your mates will offer many beers in return for this beta. It's a long walk back into the darkness, so don't delay heading off down the east ridge, up and over Beinn Liath Mhor Fannaich and down to Loch Droma.
What makes it so special: You can belay around the summit cairn on the last pitch making the line very aesthetic. You will almost certainly have complete solitude. The route is 300m long and very committing. You'll have a great time extorting beer from your mates in the pub in exchange for conditions information.
He lives in Llanberis where he runs Ibex Mountain Guides with his wife Rocio.
He likes a varied approach to work that often takes him to distant corners of the Alps and interesting and out of the way places in Scotland. He happily takes clients Rock Climbing, Winter Climbing, Alpine Climbing and Ski Touring.