/ The cobbler - conditions
Warm down in Ayrshire tonight, pouring with rain so don't know how frozen it will be on the cobbler
I was up today, I saw at least two teams carrying climbing gear. One team of 4 gearing up at the bealach between North/Central Peaks and pair on the approach path from Succoth. I had initially thought Chockstone Gully would make a decent solo but decided just to go for a walk and left my gear at the car, I wasn't upset by that decision.
There is plenty of snow on the hill but it's powder, unconsolidated and a brush would probably allow rock-climbing. Very little ice seen. The rock is bone dry with unbonded powder lying on top. I wouldn't say the buttresses were black but there are large amounts of bare rock showing. It was about 3 or 4 degrees this morning at the lochside but definitely below zero higher up on the hill. From previous attempts I wouldn't have thought SE Ridge was in nick today, but this can change and I have been wrong before.
What turf I encountered was frozen where exposed but it didn't feel frozen under the snow when I went off the path higher up. I can't vouch for turf on any routes, there's none on the doorway route up at the summit...
Remember that's only my sayso, it would be interesting to find out if anything was attempted today. I've done the SE Ridge in summer and tried twice to do it in winter, first time we bailed due to crap weather and snow conditions and second time never even started as the ridge was bare although there was plenty of snow elsewhere on the hill. There's a knack to the Cobbler in winter, I don't have it but there's several on here do - one's posted above the other may yet reply.
The Orchy hills look plastered.
Had a enjoyable day in that area today, plenty of snow on Sgiath Chuil lots of blue skies and sunshine, but some deep unconsolidated snow on some slopes, making it hard work, and a cold wind at times, not a day to hang around. It was up and down.
Not much was frozen though.
Many thanks for clearing the first half of our route!! We did north wall groove today and my mate found the upper groove much more time consuming clearing piles of snow.
What did you think of the crux on the first groove? Very safe but i've never made moves like that before on a IV/5. Tech 6 i would say. And the upper crux on NWG was equally top end ++ for its grade we thought. Nae turf on either of those bits. Great route though
Still remember that move 17 years after doing it! :) I think there has always been some talk of it being 6. I remember crimping crystals in sticky thickies with one hand!
I've always wanted to do NWG but have heard a number of people it got harder through the 90s and more people did it and the turf got thinner.
I've since done NWG 3 times over the years, each time different!
Back in about 95', it was my first ever V,6, I found it a long reach for turf at crux. did it again few years later, a move or 2 to reach it.
Seconded this crux behind Erick, and it was harder, flat hooks. Perhaps it's increased popularity over the years, with an eye to Jamie 'unfrozen' post, is the consequences?
It was always match both tools over the flat block, swing right, exiting Seseame Groove.
Have also done Seseame Groove another 2 times, Deadmans + N Wall Traverse.
> Have also done Seseame Groove another 2 times, Deadmans + N Wall Traverse.
> Awesome crag
Sounds like you've got the move wired then !! Yeh, cool place to climb. First route of the winter so big weight off the shoulders today!!
I was the second for that pitch but still found it tough. My mate who led it informs me that it will be confirmed IV6 in the new southern highlands guide book when it comes out. but yeah great route.
Do you mean that, since it's V,6 already?
Serves me right for interfering in a thread! But I am curious if North Wall Groove is still considered V,6 (top end) or VI,6/VI,7
> I am curious if North Wall Groove is still considered V,6 (top end) or VI,6/VI,7
I thought it was worth VI,6 ten years ago and it can only have got harder!
Have you climbed the direct to NW traverse/groove climbing the slabby wall right of Sesame groove, i think this is V6, quite good on small blobs of turf.
Always felt sesame groove to be technical 5, but then i also think Spectre and the Message are both standard lV 5, having climbed them all a couple of times each.
I don't think it's tech 7. Either V,6 or VI,6. Quite slabby - I reckon monos definitely help on this one!
There's two ways of exiting that first groove - the high way I'd say is tech 6 but well protected while I think the low way is technically easier but serious. The guide is definitely wrong - should say LOW is intimidating, HIGH is technical!
Have we chatted before???
I have never done the right wall thing, cos Seseame looked much more fun. I have done the Direct Start to Seseame however, which wasn't that great.
I think many folk get their 'arses kicked' on Cobbler rock, they just aren't used to standing on those ripples. Some friends of mine were chatting about this, just the other day, if Edge Of Darkness is IV,6, Seseame is not!!
I would agree more V,6 than VI,6, good gear and quite short.
However, fall from the last moves of Purple Blaze V,6 and you won't be climbing for the rest of the season (possibly the one after too).
> I would agree more V,6 than VI,6, good gear and quite short.
We are talking about NWG here are we? I thought the hard bit was looking at a big nasty swing into the corner.
You'll take a swing onto good gear. Then you'll get up and try it again.
Yep i moved straight up from the belay, blind because you couldn't see turf from below, but once you commit, there was good turf on the lip, it was blowing a gale, so didn't fancy a teeter across the slab.
Stuart we have spoken, just fancied a name change as the other one was confusing folks. i'm sure you will guess!
> Aye NWG!
> You'll take a swing onto good gear. Then you'll get up and try it again.
Not if you've badly hurt yourself.
yep once you move out right then back left again there's quite a bit of rope out from the good gear. I think a fall could well be quite nasty.
You can't see a thing going straight over the bulge and it's a long reach from not that great hooks/torques. Fair enough doing it on second but on lead it's not clear whether it's even possible!
I did it last year in fairly plastered nick.
My pal led out across the slab but couldn't see any more turf blobs, and no further obvious gear so tried to retreat and took a big swing. Luckily no harm done. But not much gear and fairly sustained does not a V, 6 make (imho)... unless we missed something obvious...
I then thought I would try direct above the belay over the big overlap. I couldn't free it so it was at least tech 7 and pumpy, but definitely do-able if it hadn't been the first route of the season.
I would have thought nowadays that the direct route seems more obvious but obviously raises the grade a couple of notches. I wouldn't disagree with VI, 7 for this direct.
I also though Sesame groove was well hard for IV, 5 - I also agree with tech 6 via the higher, safer route. Can't be IV, 6 though as its not exactly overhead gear is it (traversing well away from it).
Numbers numbers. Whatever. Great route up a cool cliff.
B on H's login
Thanks folks for lots of opinions. It seems to be generally agreed that North Wall Groove is VI,6 and North Wall Traverse IV,6.
Ok, now we have that sorted out, anyone got an update on current conditions on the Cobbler?
That was much more useful than conditions which won't have any relevance after tomorrow's thaw.
I should say that I appreciate all the SMC guides are done on a voluntary basis, and very good they are too, however it must be over 15 years since the last edition and there must be plenty of new stuff now. I would have thought it would sell relatively well with central belt sunday bumblies (self included) if/when it appears?
> Ok, now we have that sorted out, anyone got an update on current conditions on the Cobbler?
First thing this morning, or after the sun hit it? First thing there was fresh powder and hoar everywhere. A few hours later the sun facing buttresses were going black... NW Grooves (the benchmark V,6 in the Southern Highlands apparrently,) is under a fair bit of powder at the mo.
and don't forget you can see information about the Scottish guides, including progress of guides in production, as well as ask questions at the facebook page -
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