Aberdeenshire > Lochnagar >
 
Shadow Buttress A, Original Route*** IV 5

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Shadow Buttress A, Bell's Route >>
[Debs approaching the spiral terrace on the first pitch of Shadow Buttress A, 2 kb]300m. Several years ago a small block fell off the crux which already had a reputation for being hard. Now it is nails (hence the increase from the traditional grade III), although short and well protected. A good expedition of a route!

Ticklists: In the footsteps of the Cairngorm Tigers.

Photo: Debs approaching the spiral terrace on the first pitch of Shadow Buttress A © MrRiley
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PUBLIC LOGBOOKS
This climb is in 90 logbooks, and on 25 wishlists.

Great route, currently covered in snow. Barely any gear, lots of digging, but still great climbing. The decent turned into a bit of an epic. Blizzard, white-out and nightfall hit as we topped out. Loss of map, compass and sense of direction did not help. Luckily found some tracks and ended up at the bothy next to Loch Muick. Reached the car park and our tent 20 hours after leaving.
MSchobitz - 2nd - 09/Feb/14 with Ben

big day. epic walk in with realllly strong winds. lots of powder on the route, making gear really hard to find and the whole thing very hard work. Lead pitches 1,3,4,6, with mikey smashing his pitches. Pitch 3 was incredible inch deep commiting neve getting further away from the last runner and any potential runners. great sense of satisfaction to be in such a cool place climbing such cool features. We had to traverse around a massive cornice by doing a long traverse left and finding a small part. Got to the top at dusk, promptly dropped the map which sped off into the total white out blizzard. oops. lucky to find some tracks and follow them down to the other end of loch muik. Everything to search for in a Scottish winter route! probably more like V,4 on the day
benkelsey - AltLd O/S - 09/Feb/14 with Mikey

Good route but tough conditions. Crux was very hard. Well done to Dave for leading that pitch. Another long day out on Lochnagar
david0811 - AltLd - 11/Jan/14 with debbie, Dave Riley

Very challenging conditions - crud and icy cracks but a long and interesting expedition nonetheless. The crux is very very hard for a tech 5 and should probably get 6 but it's a brilliant and committing series of moves to rock over left on to the small ledge. Classic!
MrRiley - AltLd O/S - 11/Jan/14 with Dave Marshall, Debbie Lee

Lots of crusty and soft snow made it hard work. Adrian lead the crux pitch via the chimney to the right, rather than waiting for the team ahead, very strenuous but good fun. Then I got off route, heading too far to the right above and onto some desperately hard slabby corners covered in powder with no gear- very scary! Long day- finished in the dark!
Elsier - AltLd O/S - 11/Jan/14 with Adrian

Great route although very hard crux which I have to admit hooking a carbine on the in-situ gear for aid. Jonnie led it clean though. Next pitch up the ridge was fun and I made it thrutchy. Protected from strong W wind all day until we topped out. Good solid turf where needed most of the time.
Carol Goodall - AltLd O/S - 07/Dec/13 with Vicky Culshaw, Jonnie Williams

Soloed to crux, lead it clean, there is 3 insitu wires and a sling for aid if required. Soloed after to crest of ridge and Carol led a good pitch just off crest to right before a final 60m pitch took us to the top. Good route.
jonnie3430 - AltLd O/S - 07/Dec/13 with Vikki, Carol

Grand, long mountaineering route. We had good weather, but poor suggary snow. Chuffed lead on chimney crux variation (IV 5), quite strenuous, recommend it! Then wandered up right over some interesting steps onto Giant's Head Chimney before climbing back onto the buttress at sunset. Last two pitches in the moon dark to strong winds on summit. Back in the bothy for 10 and a dram.
JonmapDL - AltLd O/S - 16/Feb/13 with Craig Holden

Bit concerned about the amount of snow on the roads the night before but managed to get up Glen Muick and give it a go. Older snow firmed up on the walk in and a few folk breaking trail so not too bad. Surprised to see Shadow A free so decided to give it a go, a day to stay out the gullies. Plenty of snow and good turf, managed the crux first time but felt 'out there'. Continued interest to the top, glad to do one of the 'harder' routes at last after 3 solo trips.
Captain Solo - AltLd - 02/Feb/13 with Ewan

ig248 - AltLd O/S - 02/Feb/13 with Kirill

Led the crux, also took alternative line up a steep corner on P5 for a bit more value. Didn't bother to look at the map on the way back and went the wrong way, resulting in extra 1h30min of wandering in the dark. Numpties.
Kirill - AltLd O/S - 02/Feb/13 with Igor Gotlibovych

Led p1, soloed some, Uisdean the rest. Frozen turf and good hooks. Not much ice about. Hell of a crux!
Thoms6974 - AltLd O/S - 13/Jan/13 with Uisdean, Stuart

StuMsg - 2nd - 13/Jan/13 with Uisdean H, Andy T

Uisdean hawthorn - 13/Jan/13

Hidden - 2013

alasdair19 - 2013

AC1 - 2013

Hidden - AltLd - 15/Dec/12

adw07 - AltLd - 15/Dec/12 with FIndlay

Joel took the Hollywood crux. Cracking crux. III,6 would seem fair.
Lamb - AltLd O/S - 19/Feb/12 with Joel Paterson

The route notes say. "the crux is nails". I wholeheartedly agree. It felt like tech 6 to me even with the assistance of the insitu wires. The guide book would lead you to believe that its III using the aid. Many grade III leaders have abbed off I'd guess - judging by the insitu tat.
John Workman - AltLd - 05/Feb/12 with Chris D

Duncan took the terrace pitch as his first winter lead. good crux!
BallsOfSteel - Lead O/S - 31/Jan/12 with duncan osgood

Did crux roof, James did some variation to the right of the ridge at about IV,5
Ollie B - AltLd O/S - 29/Jan/12 with J.Monypenny

crux and then took the final tower direct
Tom Livingstone - AltLd O/S - 29/Jan/12 with Tom Ripley

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 29/Jan/12

Mix of soloing, and swapping off leads, popped off seconding the crux. Brilliant route!
MarcusP - AltLd - 29/Jan/12 with Emily

first winter route of the season, enjoyed it but a little rusty!
spoony84 - AltLd - 28/Jan/12 with john sellers, darren lemal

rob1 - AltLd O/S - 12/Mar/11 with Simon Lambert

mike.moss - AltLd O/S - 12/Mar/11

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 03/Jan/11

Hidden - AltLd - 2011

Hidden - 2011

Hidden - AltLd rpt - 24/Dec/10

Interesting crux, left me perplexed for a little while!
michael83 - AltLd O/S - 24/Dec/10 with Mark

Soloed first pitch, Paul led crux. Turf was nicely frozen but the weather was rotten, we got soaked.
Brendan - AltLd O/S - 25/Mar/10 with Andy, Paul

abbeywall - AltLd - 13/Mar/10 with K, FM

Nice route, tricky crux and entertaining all the way up.
shugsan - AltLd O/S - 13/Feb/10 with Jason King

JasonK - AltLd - 13/Feb/10 with Euan Boyd

Hidden - AltLd - 2010

Hidden - 2010

Hidden - AltLd - 28/Dec/09

Hidden - AltLd - 28/Dec/09

Loads of snow hard walk in. Hard to find gear. Was a good route to salvage the day! This route is grade III with a one move wonder crux of about grade 5 that is super well protected.
Dangerous Dave - AltLd rpt - 27/Dec/09 with Steve Addy

Hidden - AltLd - 21/Dec/09

Wicked route it's got everything,turf,snow, ice and rock. Highly recommended
Pete Main - AltLd - 07/Mar/09 with Andrew S

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 07/Mar/09

Hidden - AltLd dnf - 18/Feb/09

Late start due to deep powder and huge cornices over many of the other climbs. Had an old guidebook which didn't make much sense, went off route too far right and had to downclimb a whole pitch, then abbed because was getting late.
adw07 - AltLd dnf - 15/Feb/09 with Scott Becker

Retreated.
scottbecker - AltLd dnf - 15/Feb/09 with Andrew Warren

poor snow conditions, buried with crust on top. fell from crux 3 times, had to aid it.
danm - AltLd - 01/Feb/09 with Sion

k2scott - 2009

windy100 - 2009

francois - 2nd - 2009 with Gunnar

innes - Lead - 2009

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 01/Nov/08

A voyage up Lochnagar. A great route up a varied and occasionally exposed buttress. We did the 'Bells Route' start which is a much better start to the route (I've now done both) which is sustained at III and poorly protected until the last 7 or so metres which is IV but with gear. Second pitch is easy II until the crux, which is a classic. A hard move up and out left into the unseen onto a small ledge. It is well protected with plenty of in-situ gear but it is still a leap of (blind) faith. I slotted my right pick into the top nut as an insurance policy for the big move in case I peeled off as the peg mentioned in the guide is not there so the move has to be done clean like it or not. I didn't peel. The next pitch is easy although Will was keen to make up for missing the crux lead by climbing a wall on the right almost as hard before getting back on route. A yellow chopper took great interest in us as we climbed the crest, its the only time I've smelt exhaust fumes on a 300m route. The tower at the top looks good and Will was keen to take it on but it was too late in the day, it was getting dark and our gear was frozen. I abbed off this route in 1999 at the crux as the rockfall was unknown at that time, I may have been the first, or one of the first, to make this surprise discovery and it came as a bit of a shock back then so it was good to finish the route 9 years later. All in all a top quality route, three stars for sure.
AndyP - AltLd O/S - 01/Nov/08 with Will

Really good route, longand interesting, tower variation at the top is worth doing too.
andyinglis - AltLd O/S - 18/Mar/08 with scotty burnett

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 02/Feb/08

s kennedy - AltLd O/S - 02/Feb/08 with mark mosgrove

John HW - AltLd - 06/Jan/08 with Cath

smac - 2008

glenngordon - 2nd dog - 2007 with euan whittaker

gregor - 2006

niall_mac - AltLd - Mar/05 with Emmett

Hidden - AltLd - Jan/05

Bailed off 1stpitch of Bells Route V6 on Shadow B. Soloed 1st pitch then Graham led next 2 x pitchs then alt leads
Yourlead - AltLd - 24/Mar/04 with Graham Penny

Dangerous Dave - Lead O/S - 2004

Hidden - AltLd - 10/Jan/03

Hidden - Lead - 2003

dunx55 - AltLd O/S - 2002

dunx55 - AltLd - 2002

Failed at technical crux (site of rockfall) and abseiled off beside Moonshadow. Doh!
steveP - AltLd dnf - Mar/00 with Frank Popham

Hidden - Lead O/S - 2000

graeme gatherer - 2000

Very stormy weather deteriating - Not rally in nick and very lean!
Yourlead - AltLd - 27/Nov/99 with Graham Penny

Abbed off 4th pitch due to new crux (tech. 5/6?) exposed by recent stonefall- probably this year. Too late in the day.
AndyP - AltLd dnf - 09/Jan/99 with Jamie

climbed 3 times (i think)
oor wullie - 1999

Tarquin - 1999

Hidden - Feb/98

phardman - AltLd O/S - 22/Feb/97 with Muir Morton

nickcanute - AltLd - Mar/96 with keith bolton

Hidden - AltLd - 20/Feb/95

Richard Weller - Lead - Feb/95 with Ian Bryden

Not sure of date or partner
mark-abz - AltLd - Feb/94 with Bill S

Stuart S - AltLd - Jan/92 with Nigel Eastmond

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 01/Dec/90

Bruce Kerr - AltLd - 04/Mar/89 with Keith Turton

Heavy cover of spring snow. Soloed most of route apart from crux
David Smith - AltLd - 04/Apr/88 with charlie french

S,2,L,2.
charlesmfrench - AltLd O/S - 03/Apr/88 with DAVID SMITH

Stuart S - Lead O/S - Feb/87 with Hal Taylor

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Voting
Total votes cast 57
hard V0 of 19
V0 of 19
easy V0 of 19
hard IV2 of 19
IV8 of 19
easy IV1 of 19
hard III8 of 19
III0 of 19
easy III0 of 19
hard 60 of 20
61 of 20
easy 65 of 20
hard 51 of 20
512 of 20
easy 50 of 20
hard 41 of 20
40 of 20
easy 40 of 20
3 Stars11 of 18
2 Stars7 of 18
1 Star0 of 18
0 Stars0 of 18
Bag of .....0 of 18
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Style of ascent

Lead7 of 90 (7.8%)
Followed4 of 90 (4.4%)
Alt Leads65 of 90 (72.2%)
Unknown14 of 90 (15.6%)

'Climbed'49 of 90 (54.4%)
clean O/S33 of 90 (36.7%)
clean rpt2 of 90 (2.2%)
dogged1 of 90 (1.1%)
dnf5 of 90 (5.6%)