With conditions in Scotland reaching their annual prime, lots of new routing and hard repeats have been going down north of the border. Following Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson's early January rampage of three X 10's in quick succession - The Greatest Show On Earth, Range War (winter variation) and Messiah - the ice has become even thicker and more routes have since succumbed to serious winter psyche.
Messiah was climbed by the trio of Greg Boswell, Uisdean Hawthorn and Guy Robertson, making the first winter ascent of this route and the third onsight ascent of a grade X route in under a fortnight.
The following day, Murdoch Jamieson and Iain Small also made the 3rd ascent of The God Delusion IX 9 at Beinn Bhan on February 3rd. First climbed by Guy Robertson and Pete Benson in 2008 (pictured below), The God Delusion comprises eight pitches with steep and sustained technical climbing. Murdoch had recently climbed Godzilla IX 8 (UKC Article) at the end of January and decided to return for The God Delusion.
Commenting in his blog, Murdoch described the route as follows:
"So, The God Delusion. What a route! Comparing it with Godzilla, for me Godzilla is the line. You walk into the corrie, you look up and see the Godfather corner. You look down the wall and you see the obvious grooves and corners leading up to the Godfather. That’s Godzilla. However, The God Delusion winds its way up some very impressive ground. I think that’s what make this route different. It’s a bit more intricate. I have so much respect for Guy and Pete for establishing this line. Repeating it is easy, just follow the route description."
Will Sim and Andy Inglis also grabbed the 2nd ascent of Pale Rider VIII 9 at Beinn Eighe, a route first climbed by Martin Moran and Robin Thomas in 2010 - one of the earliest onsight leads of a tech grade 9. The 3-pitch route was entered into Andy's logbook as follows:
"Eastern Ramparts plastered, quality route (2nd ascent), awful belaying in the drizzle at times. Lead P2. Saturated."
A number of ice routes on Ben Nevis have been climbed recently due to the perfect conditions, including The Shroud, The Bewilderbeast, Mega Route X, Shield Direct, Gemini, and The Fly Direct on Creag Meagaidh. Dave Macleod and Natalie Berry have also added a new route Transition VI 7 to the lower tier of Beinn Udlaidh, starting off on a short steep mixed section followed by thick water ice.
Check out these recent UKC user photos below:
More information and a great write up on The God Delusion can be found on Murdoch's blog.
Check out the UKC Winter Conditions Page to see what is currently in condition (or not!)