Altitude 733m a.s.l
Top of first pitch overlooking NC gully. © Mike Franks
This face of Stob Coire nan Lochan features four crags:
1. Left-Hand Crag, with no currently recorded routes. It features several roofs and is capped by a formation known as the False Pinnacle, which may be ascended by a scramble.
2. Right-Hand Crag, with two un-named Diff lines (1948). This crag is slabby and forms ice weeps in winter. There are also a number of chimneys here.
(Between these two crags is the Centre Route, an easy snow course or a scree plod in summer; and Symphonic Variations, an ice route which sometimes forms).
3. The Pinnacle, an isolated spire of rock further up the hillside and somewhat to the left. A variety of short trad routes of all kinds, slabs, walls, cracks and corners.
4. Trafalgar Buttress, which is long and squat (up to 15m high) and located to the right of The Pinnacle.
The two slabby crags are best approached from Coire nam Beithach. This approach may also be used to reach the Pinnacle, when combined with the scramble up the False Pinnacle; however, this involves a great deal of steep, loose material.
Two better approaches exist for the Pinnacle:
1. Traverse the Rake Southwards from the Amphitheatre until a small hanging coire hemmed in by slabs is encountered, then trend uphill.
2. Walk South along the path at the top of the West Face of Aonach Dubh, and drop down a little way to reach the gap at the top of the Pinnacle.
Trafalgar Buttress is best approached from the foot of Pinnacle Gully.
In winter, the Centre Route is a convenient way of accessing all areas of this face as it meanders between all of the crags. Symphonic Variations makes a good direct approach to either Trafalgar Buttress or the Pinnacle.
It is likely that Left and Right-hand crags may provide good winter climbing. Trafalgar Buttress may also be worthwhile, but the routes there are short. It is unlikely that the Pinnacle will come into acceptable winter nick.
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