Following the long-awaited arrival of the Scottish mountains' winter coat, Greg Boswell has been out making the most of the fickle conditions, adding a new grade (X, 10) to the Northern Corries, named Intravenous Fly Trap in Coire an Lochain (Cairngorm).
Greg had warmed up for the 'season' on a couple of tricky routes previously, including his new Moral Compass (VII, 9) on Ben Vorlich, and a new direct finish to the first two pitches of Babylon on Ben Nevis, called Hanging Garden (VII, 8). The route was slightly further right of a line that Es Tressider had climbed in 2007, which Greg initially believed to be the same climb.
Last week, Greg tackled a potential line to the left of Daddy Longlegs (VIII, 8/9), onsight and in stormy conditions alongside climbing partner Scott, having first spied the line in 2012.
Poting on his Facebook page, Greg wrote:
'As usual the Northern Corries put up a good fight and the cracks I was aiming for were blind blunt seams, not the pick sinkers I was hoping for. It took me just over 3.5 hours to onsight the crux pitch and my hands were bleeding beneath my gloves when I slumped onto the top ledge. A fun fight and I'm happy to have got up it.'
In the comments that followed, Greg claimed that this new line was 'the hardest thing [he's] done in the Corries' save for Banana Wall XII/12, which he made the first ascent of in 2015 (UKC news report). The line also avoids the corner of Daddy Longlegs and runs direct from the ground.
As for Greg's next target, the disappointing conditions in Scotland have turned him away and he's booked a trip to Switzerland. Watch this space...