/ The cobbler - conditions

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tallpaulselfridge - on 30 Nov 2012
Anyone been up Ben Arthur in the last couple of days? Thinking of doing South East Ridge this Sunday and wondering what it's like up there.

Ta
jas wood - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to tallpaulselfridge: Good call in current conditions, best of luck
tallpaulselfridge - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to jas wood: So it's in good nick then? Excellent! Cheers
Pids - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to tallpaulselfridge:
Warm down in Ayrshire tonight, pouring with rain so don't know how frozen it will be on the cobbler
tallpaulselfridge - on 30 Nov 2012
In reply to Pids: Yeah we've had it too. But clearing up nicely and will prob be hands n knees stuff tomorrow morning. It had a fair dusting for most of the week so hope tonight hasn't done too much to it
drmarten on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to tallpaulselfridge:
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.
Burnsie - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to drmarten: How was the turf ?
drmarten on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Burnsie:
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...
tallpaulselfridge - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to drmarten: hmmmm, thanks for the update. Sound like its just not time for the cobbler yet. Aiming the sights a little further north seems like the better plan now. If only I could get in touch with my climbing partner! Thanks for the info though, would've been a disappointing climb for not much!
drmarten on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to tallpaulselfridge:
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.
Scott_vzr on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to tallpaulselfridge: I have emailed you about getting a phone pic of the cobbler today if you want a copy.

Nick
tallpaulselfridge - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr: thanks Scott but plans have already been changed and we're off to Glencoe to see what's doing up there. Appreciate your offer though :)
Scott_vzr on 01 Dec 2012
Driving back from Kinlochleven this afternoon, the snow cover raised up to 2400ft approx around Crianlarich south and East.

The Orchy hills look plastered.
tallpaulselfridge - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr: sounds a bit more like it!
Jim C - on 01 Dec 2012
In reply to Scott_vzr:
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.
Jasperboy - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to tallpaulselfridge: Did North wall traverse iv/v yesterday and thoroughly recommend it. four good pitches with a wee teaser in each pitch. The North wall remains in the shade and although the turf underfoot on way in is soft the route is solid.
graeme gatherer - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Jasperboy:
> (In reply to tallpaulselfridge) Did North wall traverse iv/v yesterday and thoroughly recommend it. four good pitches with a wee teaser in each pitch. The North wall remains in the shade and although the turf underfoot on way in is soft the route is solid.

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
In reply to graeme gatherer:

> 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.

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.
Stuart the postie - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer:

Hi Graeme,

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.

Stuart
Stuart the postie - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer:

Have also done Seseame Groove another 2 times, Deadmans + N Wall Traverse.

Awesome crag

Stuart
ads.ukclimbing.com
graeme gatherer - on 05 Dec 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:
> (In reply to graeme gatherer)
>
> Have also done Seseame Groove another 2 times, Deadmans + N Wall Traverse.
>
> Awesome crag
>
> Stuart

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!!
Jasperboy - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer:
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.
Andy Nisbet - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Jasperboy:
> My mate who led it informs me that it will be confirmed IV6 in the new southern highlands guide book when it comes out.

Do you mean that, since it's V,6 already?
graeme gatherer - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet: He's referring to the first groove which is common to both routes
Andy Nisbet - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer:

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
graeme gatherer - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet: or V/7?
Robert Durran - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> (In reply to graeme gatherer)
>
> 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!
Fergal - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:

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.
Michael Gordon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

I don't think it's tech 7. Either V,6 or VI,6. Quite slabby - I reckon monos definitely help on this one!
Michael Gordon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to graeme gatherer:

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!
Stuart the postie - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Quagmire:

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!!

Stuart
Stuart the postie - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Michael Gordon:

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).

Stuart
Robert Durran - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:
> (In reply to Michael Gordon)
>
> 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.
Erik B - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie: wee question, the only thing that makes NWG hardish is the initmidating thin traverse right away from gear,and subsequent committing pull over the overlap.. now i know of folk doing the safe logical variation straight up from the belay.. why on earth bother with the traverse these days? the glasgow lot in the 90s always insisted it was V even though bold.. different mindset with ye olde (new) grading system I think..
Stuart the postie - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Robert Durran:

Aye NWG!

You'll take a swing onto good gear. Then you'll get up and try it again.

Stuart





Fergal - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Erik B:

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!
Robert Durran - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Stuart the postie:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> 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.
Erik B - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Quagmire: aye, no brainer!
Michael Gordon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Erik B:

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!
Heike - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Erik B:
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
Andy Nisbet - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Heike:

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.
Pids - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
> 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?
Andy Nisbet - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Pids:
> 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.

DH3631 - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Andy Nisbet: to go off at a tangent, I noticed a reference above to a new Southern Highlands guidebook and was just wondering if there is a proposed publication date for that.
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?
jonnie3430 - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Pids:
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet)
> [...]
>
> 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.
Burnsie - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to DH3631: There is no publication date on the cards just yet. The southern highlands and arrochar will be put in the latest Glen Coe guide, and Arran is going into the islands guide. Rest assured work is under way checking descriptions and taking photos for the topos. Indeed this thread has helped cement opinion on the grades of two of the routes ! Cheers Stuart

septic - on 08 Dec 2012
In reply to Burnsie:

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 -

www.facebook.com/smcguidebooks

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