Anyone done this route in Sneachda...? I had a bit of a battle with it yesterday. Can't decide whether it was just a sandbag (at VI,6) or whether it was a fairly hard route made even harder by the complete verglas coating. It was very difficult to get any gear in - everything was slippery and there were few foootholds, I could see some tiny ledges through the verglas, but you couldn't really get them with your front points.
In reply to Heike:
I did this when it a V. (i'm sure it used to be a V?) I thought it hard for V, but found the hard bit in the cracks as i could'nt get any footholds and started to get pumped. VI, 6 probably fair enough?
In reply to Heike:
I'm told that the grade of messiah has changed as more placements and gear is uncovered. I haven't done it; it was on the to do list when I lived in Edinburgh but those crags are. Dry 'remote' now!
Come to think of it verglas rings a bell for damnation. I couldn't get much gear in and was more than 5 m from my last runner. Thanfkfully I had a wee bit left in the tank to lock off and lunge for a turf placement. I can't remember much else about the route but that section is memorable 15 years later!
I've climbed Damnation, the same day James Edwards was on White Magic.
I remember seconding P2 and finding it very absorbing, one of the better routes hereabouts. We had thick rime on the slab, could side foot whilst the right was in the corner/crack, good torque crack for tools though. It was VI,5 then, we suggested VI,6 at the time, was an early repeat, got a mention in the mags.
It's probably just cos you're a girl!!
Ps. Was it your Brian who did Great Central Groove on the Brack?
some beta from FWA:
I was lucky to climb what I thought was Damnation in Feb/Mar 1982 in good conditions - i.e. neve down the back of the top groove.
At the time, I thought it was a good practice route for bigger things and thought no more of it.
Later I bumped into Andy Nesbit, who asked me about it. So I reluctantly gave him a brief verbal description - along the lines of, "the middle set of grooves high up. 2 pitches Grade IV."
Next thing I know Genie appears in the Guidebook - named, graded and written up by Mr Nesbit - but not what I had climbed. WTF?
Belay on first pitch was a dead boy - half driven in a neve ledge.
Last pitch 1/2 way up, I placed a bomber channel peg runner - which always boosts the confidence. My second left it in.
Sounds like something was out of condition when you climbed it?
> (In reply to Heike)
> I've climbed Damnation, the same day James Edwards was on White Magic.
oh yes; i'd forgotten about that. I remember i was laughing so much at your pig squeeling imitation at the crux of damnation that i fell off white magic! On that day white magic was V,6 i thought and conditions were so good it was quite straightforward but damnation looked desperate! quite bizare how we were so close on the crag but experienced such different helpful / unhelpful conditions.
Don't take the grade too seriously. The opinions I got varied according to conditions, and conditions varied with time ago. So Paraffin said IV in 1982 (and of course the middle groove is the easier Genie, so I took that as what he'd done), the definite FWA gave V in 1985 but it was on ice and more recent said VI. Verglas is probably the worst option so harder I'm sure.
I had initially thought that the 5a pitch would go as mixed, it was green, horrible and it wasn't holding any snow! By going out right on our variation, kept it 'wintery' and at a similar standard to the pitches below.
I then did it again the following season, this original finish was well iced, superb, technical ice moves, much better in my opinion and possibly a grade harder at VI,6?
Hi Andy, thanks for clearing that up for me after 31yrs. The rock guide at the time was pretty vague.
Still Genie IV in old money - but suppose now it is the fashion to climb in conditions that 31 yrs ago many would have thought of as daft.
I did Genie around 1994 when it still had turf and was full of ice. It took a couple of hours and was a comfortable IV. There was time for another route in the afternoon. Last time I did Genie, it was a struggle to finish before dark.
We split the route into 3 pitches primarily because i couldn't have lead the cruxes. The first pitch was of something else we're sure ( we started further left by a short turf romp followed by a corner capped with an overhang which was hard to surmount via a gravel hook/mantle). I lead the majority of the corner which looked amenable from below but was harder than anything i've lead before (only lead IV) so very involving and fun but sketchy with all the verglass in cracks. Great day with goggles and belay jackets on throughout!
> I did Genie around 1994 when it still had turf and was full of ice. It took a couple of hours and was a comfortable IV. There was time for another route in the afternoon. Last time I did Genie, it was a struggle to finish before dark.
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet)
> Wow - what happened?
Obvious really. You caught it in favourably icy conditions and since then much of the turf has disappeared making it harder. That's one of the beautys of winter climbing; conditions vary, routes evolve.
> Obvious really. You caught it in favourably icy conditions and since then much of the turf has disappeared making it harder. That's one of the beautys of winter climbing; conditions vary, routes evolve.
Robert, thanks for that. Never been back to the N. Corries to climb since 1982. So it was not that obvious to me - so thanks for the update.
Yes, you could say I was lucky - but really when I was prospecting new winter routes - I backed off more than I got up, due to poor conditions and me being a scaredy cat.
If the evolution of the sport is towards stripping turf and taking longer to scratch your way up - count me out, thanks.
> You caught it in favourably icy conditions and since then much of the turf has disappeared making it harder. That's one of the beautys of winter climbing; conditions vary, routes evolve.
I don't know if the inexorable removal of turf from the Norries routes is a thing of beauty; it was quite a revelation to climb a relatively untrodden route on the Shelter Stone recently and see how much more turf was available. Cha-No will go the same way; the routes will get harder but better-protected as the turf gets ripped out.
In reply to Jamie B: It's already obvious on Anvil Gully one of the IVs and very accessible to descents. The upper corner has lost the green blobs- they are that black gravelly stuff with thin roots coming out of them. Wont take long....
In reply to Heike: Hard packed snow in the corner seems to make it as easy as it gets, and it has had quite a few ascents in those conditions, but doesn't form proper ice. It is always pretty bold, even if you climb it without snow - which hides the pegs.
In reply to Heike: interesting discussion on genie etc the turf must have stripped very quickly from 1994 as my experience of it in the mid 90s was no turf and lots of verglas. end result was I abseiled off the top corner and never bothered going back. As you know yourself Heike, in the northern corries, when lots of verglas, just add a grade!
strange, when I did the line Genie / Damnation or whatever it turned out to be - I only saw powder snow, ice, neve and glazed rock. People are telling (who were not even there at the time)that:
1. I got it in good /easy condition - how would they know?.
2. There was turf. - but I never saw any turf in 1982.
3. On the grapevine it was said Parafinn could never climb something as hard as Damnation - so he must have climbed the easier line ascribed to as Genie.
4. The guidebook editor has confessed publicly to a failing memory (when it suits him). I suffer from no such problem, yet.
Climbed it about a month ago. Seemed fair at the grade; I imagine when verglassed it could well feel desperate. Had good gear on the entry into the corner but a bold section from there to near its top where thankfully cracks emerged. Some ok snow in back of corner but not much.
I didn't think it was great climbing to be honest; quite 'scratchy'. Don't think there was one decent hook on the whole route! Funnily enough the 'squeeze chimney' mentioned in the guide doesn't seem to exist and the top section is still quite tricky.
You must have been unlucky with conditions; we were on Stirling Bomber that day which (thankfully) wasn't at all verglassed.
In reply to Michael Gordon:
Ah, maybe we should have gone to Fiacaill, it look more hoared up, but less verglassed. I don't think I have ever climbed anything that slippy. We were there quite early and I swear I could see the water freezing up in front of my eyes...
> Anyone done this route in Sneachda...? I had a bit of a battle with it yesterday. Can't decide whether it was just a sandbag (at VI,6) or whether it was a fairly hard route made even harder by the complete verglas coating. It was very difficult to get any gear in - everything was slippery and there were few foootholds, I could see some tiny ledges through the verglas, but you couldn't really get them with your front points.
> It was fun anyways...
It's now a lovely rock climb and really quite well protected now the corner crack has been cleaned up by winter climbers ;-)
Ah, lucky you, you had "useful thin ice in in the corner for your axes", Unfortunately, we had none, only verglas....funny thing this winter climbing game! Could be easy, could be hard, you'll never know until you try.
In reply to Heike: guide does grade it for some ice inequalities the corner. Always be harder if you choose tks climb it without. VI 6 was fair. Loads of small foothold on the left wall. And torques where the ice was poor or to thin.