/ Early Season Routes

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Flood - on 06 Nov 2017
I'm looking for suggestion for early season routes. Its looking like it might be cold all week. Was thinking about heading somewhere to catch some early season routes.

Dorsal Arete jumped into my head first, but would love some suggestion. Worst case scenario, we go for a long walk with heavy bags.

All suggestion appreciated.

Cheers
MikeR - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Flood:

Freezing levels look like they will be rising well above the summits in the afternoons for much of the week, apart from Tuesday. Friday and the weekend look more promising temperatures wise, pretty blowy though.
BnB - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Flood:
Fiacaill Ridge seems an obvious suggestion for finding in early nick owing to position and height. It's early mind, so keep the axes sheathed unless genuinely in condition.
Post edited at 12:14
andyinglis - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Flood:

Sioux wall.
Fergal - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to andyinglis:
Nippy HVS that????
Dave Kerr - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to andyinglis:

> Sioux wall.

Loving your work.
Dave Kerr - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Flood:

> I'm looking for suggestion for early season routes.

If the turf's frozen then anything that doesn't need ice.
If the turf isn't frozen then anything that doesn't need turf.*


*TBH it's probably better just not to bother at this point.
Fergal - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Kerr:

All well and good, jokes aside how many winter ascents has sioux wall had? Martin Morans for starters... full winter condition , a route that is regarded as a soft touch with bomber hooks, great gear in dry conditions and a big grade.. give the route a chance..ice choked cracks a foot of rime and a big cornice should suffice, average winter conditions in my book, make the Big Bad ben great and scary again, Moran we salute you sir!!
davew88 - on 06 Nov 2017
In reply to Flood:

not dorsal arête. lower down it needs neve and/or properly frozen turf. higher up you want the blocks to be properly frozen in place!

fiacal ridge is the best bet. if you had got there earl doors on sunday then the cobbler summit would have been in acceptable winter nick. but I would barely call it a climb, just some fun in the snow.
andyinglis - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:

Sioux has had probably 30+ ascents, even multiple ascents on single days.
Fergal - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to andyinglis:
Yep how many " Winter" ascents though.

Drain the Allt a' Mhuilin swamp of dry toolers.... Make the Ben great again..sorry my bad!
Post edited at 16:29
andyinglis - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
Your right they are all void......
Fergal - on 07 Nov 2017
In reply to andyinglis:

Well not all of them, that bloke that nearly got eaten by a Grizzly, seems to like a wintery challenge.

I apologise anyway, climb if you must, but it is good for the game that some still adhere to a strong winter aesthetic.
Misha - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
Considered VII 8 these days and that felt right, not done enough at the grade to judge with certainty but harder than a soft VII at any rate. Wouldn’t say the hooks are bomber, generally ok but some are directional and require a bit of torquing. Main issue is the feet are pretty poor. On the other hand, it’s not too steep. Gear is good if the cracks are clear, lots of wires. Wasn’t exactly plastered when I did it in early January the season before last but certainly won’t have got up it in rock shoes and it was white, plus cams were useless...

Given it’s not getting consistently cold till Friday and only snow showers are forecast, not sure there will be enough white stuff to make the steeper stuff wintery by this weekend but who knows... guess it depends if things rime up. Those who don’t go won’t find out till afterwards but you’ve got to have the discipline to turn round if conditons are the wrong side of the (blurry) line. Won’t be full on winter conditions as you describe of course.

Not meaning to argue, just musing...
Post edited at 00:33
sphagnum - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
> Yep how many " Winter" ascents though.

> Drain the Allt a' Mhuilin swamp of dry toolers.... Make the Ben great again..sorry my bad!

Build a wall!

A wall of ice too hard for dry toolers!

And, who is gonna pay for it?

S M C!
Fergal - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to sphagnum:

Brilliant and after Brexit it will keep all those pesky europeans out!

Those damn Frenchies coming over here with there fancy ice climbing ways and stealing our routes.
Fergal - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Misha:
A little inspiration before this weekend, follow the righteous path.. an old duffer earning his spurs.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=130226
Post edited at 10:19
French Erick - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:

I thought spurs were no longer leggit though?!?
NateDangerJones - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Flood:

I heard Kinder downfall is in
francois - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:

There will be more Europeans post Brexit: the UK will be the cheap destination of choice!!!!
Fergal - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to francois:

Brexit is a total shambles, I look forward to your gallic taunts.
francois - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:

Anyway, I'm looking forward to do a few winter routes this year. There have been some inspirational shots in the photo gallery recently: https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=301016
Fergal - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to francois:

i'm not sure if British humour translates very well online, to make it clear i am totaly against brexit.

Sorry for the thread hijack, happy hunting at the weekend.

Dave Perry - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to NateDangerJones:

You beat me to it!
Misha - on 08 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
Good picture. Was not dissimilar when I did it, a bit less rimed up than in the photo.
petemacpherson - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Misha: I think Sioux wall might have got easier over the years as hooks get better with traffic ( something I’ve not noticed in the Cairngorms routes as much). Was in great nic when Martin and I did it.

French Erick - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to petemacpherson:

how the sun treating you lad? None of that shenanigans happening to you where you are! Probably a good thing as my eyeballs are still recovering from the windy pummeling they received yesterday.

To Fergal: I want your crystal ball if it'll allow me to know where the nick is...
Misha - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to French Erick:
Number 3 Buttress routes were acceptable / ok on Sat but certainly on the lean side.

Lochain was as white as I’ve ever seen it yesterday. Not totally plastered but certainly well rimed up.
Fergal - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to French Erick:
"I predict team wannabe hook thier way merrily up a dry Secret to proclaim it a soft touch this weekend, conditions reported as bomber but a little awkward after finding a perfectly formed snowflake on a ledge."

Pretty much as predicted i would say.

As the depressions spiral in off the Atlantic the pulse quickens, the autumnal limbo is broken in anticipation of early season cold snow plastered butresses and icey dribbles await, be patient as winters icey blast will come, don't turn to the Darkside, a winter wonderland awaits.

PS. Misha saying that the Lochain is the whitest you have seen it, is just crazy talk, how long have you been winter scratching?
Post edited at 17:53
Misha - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
Probably a reflection of the fact that in really good conditions I tend to head elsewhere. So I suppose it was the whitest I’ve seen it in early season type conditions as that’s when I’ve been there in the past. I can assure you it was pretty white, I was actually pleasantly surprised. Will put a photo in my gallery here. A bit different to the photo I took at the same crag on the same weekend last year, also in my gallery.

As for waiting... these days, if you wait for full on winter conditions to arrive, you might be waiting a long time and won’t get much done if you’re an average weekend warrior. Then when perfect conditons do arrive, you won’t be able to do the routes you really want to do because you won’t be prepared for them. Got to take these chances when you can! Not saying we should all go dry tooling in the mountains but if it’s wintery, it’s fair game (of course everyone will have different ideas about precisely what wintery means when it comes to mixed climbing).
Post edited at 19:35
Fergal - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Misha:

Misha have you ever considered a mountain retreat, spend some time with the brothers, don the habbit, make mead and tend goats, on the one true path to enlightenment.

You can be saved ....Smith lives.
Chrismith - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
Sorry, but were you in the corie's this weekend? Seems like all you do on these forums is whine and moan about people getting out and making an effort in winter. Believe me, if you bothered to try to climb something over the last couple of days you would of seen it was very much full on winter conditions up there.

Your "icy blasts and winter wonderland" was very much in full flow yesterday in many places and perhaps instead of gurning about your unwarranted "ethical standards" you went and bothered your arse maybe you would realize it.

Easy to pass judgment sat at a computer screen so you and your 5 likes can fu*k off.
Post edited at 23:40
Fergal - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Chrismith:
Sounds like you had a grand day out, don't get to wound up it's only a game.

XX
PS. i gave you a like
Post edited at 23:29
Misha - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:
I tried some mead last time I was at the Square & Compass in Swanage as they happened to have it. Didn't like it that much. Nor do they have much winter climbing down there, which is a shame really as a good freeze would help to glue the crags together. But I digress.

Forthwith I shall only climb mixed routes if they are covered in at least four inches of ice.
Misha - on 13 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:

Probably as good as it good all of last winter! https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=301985
Fergal - on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Misha:

Bravo, that corner of the corrie is a good bet when it's marginal. My earliest route to date was Deep throat in mid October in full winter nick, even some ice in the cracks looked and felt like feb.
Tricadam on 14 Nov 2017
In reply to Fergal:

As testament to how quickly things can change, we wandered in at stupid o'clock on Sat morning and found the very top of the routes in acceptable nick but the bottom black all round the corrie. The cloud came in as we watched though and we were pretty well rimed ourselves after a pre-elevenses constitutional on the plateau. Gutted we weren't free Sunday as we could see it was going to be crackin. Great to see that so many folk got out and got on it. Here's to much, much more this year!

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