Hidden - Lead dnf - 05/Feb/12
Convinced this is actually the original Sunset Buttress. The confusion may come from the blind crack and step left bit but we are talking about one step left, a move or two up then a stiff couple of layback/pulls right with your right foot where the lads claiming a first ascent have climbed. The step left is literally that and what they have described at the crux is just another way of climbing the same small area of wall. Its certainly hard and more than III,5 and as recorded in the SMCJ 2008 by J Workman, prob IV,6. The gear is sinker though and I got a superb rock 9 as described. The description is a bit confusing as the prominent crack that you see from the ground is the one you end up climbing and the blind crack mentioned is only just to its right
IceBun - 03/Jan/09 with Greg
Hidden - 2008
Originally we thought we were on Quick Dash Crack but the new Cairngorms Guide (2007) has shed more light on the route. We were on Sunset Buttress but climbed the blind crack instead of traversing left. This makes this a new route. There was a peg near the bottom of the crack which must have been to protect the traverse left. I took a 3 or 4 metre fall after clipping the peg and placing a HB offset 11 (DMM/WC size 9 ish) just to the right of it. I got back on and finished the pitch, but only after climbing the wall to the left and above the peg but this was desperate and I had a desperate downclimb, at one point attached only by hooking a small crimp with my left axe - all other limbs off. After the peg I went right for a move or two before stepping left into the crack and finishing straight up. The ice in the crack was wafer thin and there were no discernable foot placements for the crux, just scratching featureless granite. There was a small turf cap on top of the crack which was not fully frozen but cold enough to give a half-decent placement to finish the crux. The headwall on the second pitch was a bit tricky but very short. The third (last) pitch was probably grade 1. The grade is IV/6 maybe 7 but I've not got enough experience to say which. The SMC Logbook has recorded the route as IV/7 so I assume someone has been to have a look at it or do the second ascent...Sometime later... Will met the Guy who has done most of the 1st ascents on this buttress at the Inverness wall and he confirmed our thoughts, this is not Sunset Buttress because that route explicitly does not climb the crack, it climbs a niche to the left and exits back right onto the top of the crack. Anyway, it is a brilliant short, hard route. I wonder if the ice in the crack will thicken up with more freeze/thaw, if so the grade might drop a bit but the gear placements might disappear.
AndyP - AltLd dog - 16/Dec/06 with Will
Hidden - AltLd O/S - 16/Dec/06