New Routes on Ben Nevis for Dave MacLeodby Jack Geldard - UKC Chief Editor Feb/2013
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The route, now named White Noise, is a huge 40 degree overhanging roof climb.
Dave has just blogged about this and another excellent looking first ascent, stating:
"[White Noise] went at about M10+, maybe even M11. I'm not too sure since I haven't done that style of climbing for a while. Certainly it's as long and steep as Fast & Furious (M10/+) but with much thinner climbing and a bit of faffing with wires and cams to give the arms an extra workout. As a Scottish grade? Pffh, no idea. Greg recently confirmed the Cathedral at X,11 and it's got to be at least a grade harder than that. Regardless of the difficulty, it's something different to climb from the normal routine. It's not a turfy corner, it's not a gully. We've got plenty of those, but not many roof climbs in winter."
Dave climbed the route after abseil inspection taking several falls before suceeding on the route on his fourth attempt.
Following on from that route Dave also made what he thinks might be the first ascent of The Snotter, commenting on his blog:
"Next up I headed up the Ben with Michael to look at a hanging icicle on the Breneva Face in Coire Leis. It's a well known line universally known as "The Snotter" because of the double icicles that are always hanging there in winter but hardly ever touch down. Actually I have seen the left one touching down, but it was 5pm after doing another new route and my partner had to get a flight that night, otherwise I would have gone for a night ascent there and then. I've heard various stories of good climbers trying it, even falling off it! But as far as I know, it's never been done and has been referred to by others as 'the last great unclimbed icefall on Ben Nevis'...
...As far as we know, it's a first ascent. It felt about VIII,8 although it could be at the higher end of that grade? It's also one of the best winter climbs I've done on the Ben."
There is an excellent write up with brilliant photographs on Dave's Blog. Check it out.
Nice work Dave!