The Secret IX/9 - Repeated

On 30th December Ian Parnell, Guy Robertson and Mark Garthwaite completed the second ascent of The Secret, Andy Turner's new route on the right wall of Number Three Gully, Ben Nevis. Both ascents were done onsight.

See original report here

Below Ian Parnell reports and speculates on a possible grade:

"We picked the right day, walking up from the visitors centre and getting a fantastic sunrise just before dropping down number 3 gully. The route was well hoared/snowed up with a bit but not too much ice in the crack. Garth led the first pitch which is stunning steep hooking and bridging up wide cracks in a chimney, we felt this pitch was VII 7. I then led the second pitch, managing to span in from the belay (which is high up left) and so probably missed a move that Andy would have made on the first ascent (he down climbed and accessed the crack direct I think.) The next 15ft were the crux, with an unhelpful icy crack and very very thin hooks. I also had two flakes pull off on me which came close to ruining my onsight. Luckily I held it together and the rest of the route had better hooks with a superb pumpy finish.

We had a bit of a debate about what grade we thought this pitch was... my feeling is that its IX 9. I've spoken to Andy Turner, and he goes with that as it was what he initially thought.

More importantly the route is superb, a stunning line, that is in condition often and I think will prove a popular challenge. In my opinion its amongst the very best short routes I've done in Scotland."

Read More of Ian's comments about this route in the Forums, here

Forums 29 comments

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