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Great Day on Great Gully, Cwm Cau, Cadair on Saturday 7th Feb 2015. Superb weather and Steve Booker and I had the mountain to ourselves. We approached the route by walking anti clockwise round the cwm to get a good look into the gully. It looked all there from afar!
The route held some good ice low down but to get established we had to climb broken ground on the right hand side and rig a pendulum to swing back into the gully. There were a few pegs and an old nut here, so we probably weren’t the first to try this. Either that, or this was the point that sensible people lowered off and went for a nice walk!
The ‘easy’ pitches in the lower to middle section involved ploughing through energy sapping snow covered woodrush. Good belays were hard to find and the route began to feel progressively longer and more and more committing. The upper sections passing though the deep narrow defile provided fantastic scenery, better belays and the occasional runner. The technical crux pitches were towards the top. The first tricky sections passed over a series of steep bulges on rotten rock and woodrush, followed by an overhanging chockstone with some wild moves to exit round to the right. The sting in the tail was one final rocky bulge with next to nothing for the feet and axes dragging through rubbish above. I managed to bang some bulldogs into goodness knows what and hauled my way into the easy final stretch to the crest of the ridge just in time to catch the perfect sunset and the climax to a great day on the the hill.
Allen Newby - AltLd O/S - 07/Feb/15