/ Recommend a first grade 3 in northern corries

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ralphio - on 08 Feb 2013
Hi. Off up to the Cairngorms next week (will be our second winter in Scotland). Did the usual grade 2's last year dorsal arete, ledge route etc. Going to tick of a few of the grade 2's in Coire an t'sneachda and then if we're feeling confident at the end of the weekend we might have a bash at a grade 3. So.... what would people recommend as a good frist grade 3 in that area? thinking something that is fairly well protectable to ease our nerves!
LakesWinter on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio:

They're all alright from memory, so it depends on conditions on the day. Broken Gully is only really 1 pitch at the start and is good if it's icy. Milky Way is probably the easiest one I've done there and Invernookie is the best grade 3 I've done there, but technically harder.
crombie - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to LakesWinter: Hidden Chimney, never done it but I hear that its one hard pitch and protected
jshields - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio: Second vote for hidden chimney, well protected.
Jon
Mark F - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio:
Hidden Chimney is probably the one to go for if conditions are good, although I did it last year when there was little snow about and found it quite difficult in places. I think the protection was generally pretty good though. Similarly, did Invernookie recently in thin conditions (powder and frozen turf) and it was definitely nearer IV than III. It would be a cracking route with good neve, although protection was quite hard to find in places. There are some superb routes in Sneachda of all grades so I'm sure you'll have a great time.
Robert Durran - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio:

Iron Butterfly in Lochain is very good, and much less likely to have queues than some other routes mentioned. Usually safe approach to far left of corrie. I can't comment on what the gear is like though since I've only soloed it!
andybrown114 - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio: Another vote for Hidden Chimney. Some of the Grade 2 gullies can feel like Grade 3 sometimes too. I've been on Broken Gully a couple of times and ended up on Fingers Ridge (IV.4) each time!
ralphio - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio: cheers for the advice. Will give hidden chimney a look... Incident, has anyone got any advice for stepping up from grade 2 to grade 3? Or just grow a bigger set of balls?
blackreaver - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio: I didn't have any problem finding gear on Hidden Chimney (the last pitch anyway). Its more like III than II/III, its obviously a lot easier with good neve. I suppose on II your axe placements don't have to be bomber, whereas around the crux on HC you have to watch out a bit more. Also a bigger set of balls helps :)

BR
sbc_10 - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio:

Ewen Buttress is a nice route. Pick the right conditions and you'll get a great line up the buttress with lots of photogenic opportunity.
CacCarnBeag - on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: Iron Butterfly is dodgy under powder, it was getting on for IV when I did it, no gear that I could find on the crux. With ice though it could be really really easy and nice!
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Cameron94 on 08 Feb 2013
In reply to ralphio: Left rib of the runnel has a first pitch of turfy III then the other two pitches are I/II. Could be an alright choice for your first grade III lead.


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