/ Cuillin Update, Snow patches, loose rock & abseil tat.
It is now possible to reach Bealach a' Bhasteir on rock BUT not by the fairly popular approach running below Pinnacle Ridge. Skirting Am Basteir on the north is also possible without crampons but caution still required. Please don't take a big slide just to prove me wrong! The rest of the Cuillin are clear on any regular routes.
New loose rock isn't quite as abundant as followed the intense winter last year but will still form the major hazard. If in doubt don't touch!
Remember it is your responsibility to judge both rock & tat quality every time. Many of those frequently used come off blocks that are not attached so delicacy, angles & reducing leverage are all considerations.
Of the frequently used abseils TD gap is most obviously in need of cleaning out & replacing. Pinnacle Ridge tat is fresh. Upper anchor on the Dubhs is a mess which I started stripping last week. Cleaned out the lower anchor & replaced with a length of blue rope. Not done the Bidean abseils yet myself but plenty of folk Traversing this week with no reports of problems. West Ridge of Gillean was tat-free yesterday but likely to be rigged again very soon.
Stay safe, Mike
I've always attempted to promote old tat removal when placing your own. It simply doesn't make sense to me that when folk arrive at an abb station and decide the tat looks a bit old and worn, they add their own tat so they are safe should the old tat fail. You'd be no more safe if you cut all of the old tat and simply abbed off your own, new tat.
Ditto stashing water- please do your bit by binning old water & carrying down the old bottles.
I'll add these to the book of house rules for when that 10 million quid winnings allows me to buy the Cuillin off MacLeods ;-)
I don't always want people replacing tat, as for instance an old rope (as long as it has no visible damage) may be safe for years, whereas a new sling might be trashed in a few weeks of windy weather. The BMC sling tests I saw on brand new slings heavily rubbed on rock were very illuminating (breaking strengths halved) wheras the rope core holds strength).
Paul's point is more that IF you are putting in new stuff remove the old but I agree that I may have made it look like a plea to just strip out everything. Quite often the older stuff is placed far bettter than the more recent token gestures.
I forgot about one particularly worrying rockfall in the TD Gap. The landing below the abseil has colapsed leaving 2 huge boulders very delicately poised, loads of loose debris down the gully and a hazrd for anyone passing below as well as those descending this way. I crtainly regretted "popping in for a look" in the wet the other day and won't be abseiling in unless I ampretty sure its dry enough to climb out again.
I think the MacDonalds might have a thing or two to say about that proposition ;-)
A McDonalds on the ridge? There's an idea, fast food on mountain summits has proved a huge success in wales
Noooooo ....ask Jon ....it will all turn to Horseshoe Quarry.
> it will all turn to Horseshoe Quarry.
what shit? ;-)
That doesn't sound very good.
Is it still in the same state now.
So you wouldn't recommend approaching the bottom of the TD Gap by ascending the gully.........
Any update on any of these points Mike? Myself and Sal will be staying in Carbost next week with an eye on a Ridge traverse.
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