/ Golden Oldy, Aonach Mor - Advice Please!!

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peebles boy - on 17 Jan 2013
Thinking Golden Oldy as half a plan for Saturday, but trying to decipher exactly where it is seems hard enough let alone getting a decent description of route.

On this photo here:


can anyone accurately tell me where it actually is!?!?

In terms of route, throw me a comparison to the likes of dorsal arete or sron na lairig if you can.

Any info appreciated, would prefer not to be another person who thinks they might have climbed the route, but really aren't sure...there seems to be a few of them on the Golden Oldy description page on here!!!!

Andy Nisbet - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:

You'll have to buy a guidebook!
peebles boy - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

A cunning plan there sir....I like your thinking ;)
JamesRoddie - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:

It's the left-most buttress in the photo. To be honest it's just a case of following your nose I'd say, there's a fairly obvious groove line low down that I followed but the routes on the West face are all open to a fair bit of variation and you can take a variety of lines.

No-where as exposed as the crux of Dorsal though it has some narrow sections. A bit more tricky than Sron na Lairig I'd say though.

Word of advice - if you are climbing up there for the first time then try and choose a day when the routes aren't shrouded in clouds, as they can be hard to identify in poor visibility.

Hope that's of help.
Double Knee Bar - on 17 Jan 2013
It would be difficult to tell which butress it is in low visibility. We had a hard time telling which one it was with clear blue skies! Don't underestimate the route length, it's a bigger ridge than it looks. Get the earliest possible cable car and you'll do well to catch the last one back..
Start moving together/ soloing as soon as possible,time is of the essence.
Its a considerable extra walk down the world cup track.
One of the best days out I've ever had.
AlH - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy: As you reach the base of it if you look up and can see the Gendarme of Gendarme Ridge above you on the next ridge to the left then you are in the right place.
tom r - on 17 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy: It's a good route from what I remember. It is a long route though. Both times I have done a route on the west face I have ended missing the last cable car.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to tom r:


I'm another one that has had to make the walk of shame after being on that face... We weren't alone either, the world cup track was busy that night

And +1 re finding it too...

But what an amazing place!

Sankey - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy: Good advice above, is very hard to find the start in poor visibility, ended up doing Western Rib by mistake one time, no big deal really as the routes are very similar. In two trips to do these ridges I have 50 % success on getting the cable car back. Also 100 % tick for the whiteout navigation back down across the summit plateau. Found western rib exhausting under unconsolidated deep powder conditions, would be much better with decent snow.
Offwidth - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Double Knee Bar: Spot on. Its a bugger to find in good conditions on a first visit. Its a good route but quite tricky on some short sections especially the narrow ridge section at a notch otherwise if you are happy with such tactics you can move together or solo a lot on the easier terrain.
Snoweider - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:
Second all above about avoiding going there in poor vis if its your first visit. The other routes are a teensy bit harder so if you get the wrong rib it might slow you down. Speed is the essence, so moving together wherever possible. Lots of fresh snow would also slow you down, which is the problem we had when we got caught out- I've been to the west face 3 times had had to do the world cup route walk of shame once.
Having said all of that its a magic place, with a wild feel, and if you are efficient, its possible to do a 500m route and not be totally beefed at the end of if thanks to the gondola.
Simon Caldwell - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:
When we did it a couple of years ago the clag was down, and it took us about an hour to find the start (a few other teams about, all but one gave in). For the best chance of finding it, pay close attention to the map, and don't leave the stream too soon. And take as much luck as you can carry.

Don't worry too much about getting the last gondola, it doesn't add much to the day, especially relative to other Scottish walk-outs. We had to walk down as they closed the gondola at lunch time due to easterly gales.
Joss - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Toreador:

Can only agree wih the other comments, very difficult to find in poor vis. We found it on our second visit after being beat off the venue due to blizzards on the first visit. The current guidebook was very useful as it gave us a grid ref which we used to find the start with a GPS, visibilty was still very poor on our ascent. Great route though, started late and missed the last gondola, great day!
chiz - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:
From memory seeing the prominent East Ridge of CDM (II) is a good indicator that you should start looking left to pick out the summit ribs, there are sometimes some icy runnels before the main ribs. The East Ridge is big enough, and steep/black enough you can often see it when the summit ribs are in clag. GPS and a grid ref does sound useful though.

Western Rib is also a good route if you end up on that by mistake, and I'd recommend the couple of pitches of III ice up Spare Rib Gully, where you can then get up onto Western Rib. You can often spot the ice of Spare Rib Gully through the clag, but not sure if it will have any ice at present! Daim Buttress is ok too.

They are all long routes, and well worth the walk in and out, even if you did miss the last gondola.
d508934 - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Joss:

is that the SMC guidebook (scottish winter climbs)? never noticed the GRs before!
peebles boy - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:

Cheers for all the info and heart warming tales of adventure folks!! Decision time later this evening, but if not tomorrow then definitely one to keep in mind for later in the winter when the days are longer, the snow is a bit more solid, and the legs are fitter!!
Thanks again.
Joss - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to d508934:
Yeah it was in the 2011 edition I think...
Andy Nisbet - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to d508934:
> (In reply to Joss)
> is that the SMC guidebook (scottish winter climbs)? never noticed the GRs before!

Yes, and a topo. But I was a bit mean, as it could be very difficult in misty weather and there were some good tips there.
Mark Bannan - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to peebles boy:

I thought it was a lot harder than Dorsal Arete. Felt like III; perhaps lack of buildup.

Made cable car by the skin of our teeth!

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