Iain Small and Uisdean Hawthorn recently made the first winter ascent of Shadhavar (Winter) E3 in Bidean nam Bian - Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glencoe. Iain managed to successfully onsight the two newpitches of hard climbing after seconding the first pitch of Unicorn (Winter) VIII, 8.
Writing in his blog, Uisdean described the line, which branches off right into the Unicorn corner:
"Iain climbed ten more metres of Unicorn until it is possible to traverse right into the pick-width crack of an E3 - Shadhavar, first climbed by Iain Taylor and Tess Fryer in Summer 2013."
Uisdean had struggled to climb up the flared groove at the beginning of Unicorn, which was filled with fresh powder snow from the previous night's heavy snowfall. Iain maintained the fact that it was in poor condition after seconding the pitch. Uisdean described the climb as a "Good route, sustained with good gear" in his logbook entry and added in his blog:
"Iain was particularly cheery after successfully on-sighting a hard new routeand after a bit of debate decided to grade it hard VIII, 9."
The ascent rounded off a busy two days for Uisdean, who along withMurdo Jamieson had climbed Sioux Wall, a VIII, 8 on Number Three Gully buttress, the previous day.
The Scottish Winter season may have had a slow start so far, but with more snow and cold weather forecast in the coming weeks, all eyes will be watching the conditions reports...
Keep an eye on our UKC Winter Conditions Page.