Thursday, 23 April 2009
Today we went for a wander up into Coire nam Beithach with the intention of climbing No.3 Buttress on Stob Coire nam Beith. The route proved to be dripping with meltwater and generally disintegrating, not to mention the route-finding intricacies! After climbing part of what I believed to be the first pitch, I was forced to lower off a wire as the slabby traverse ahead was impossible to cross in boots. Our second attempt took us onto steep wet grass, overhanging choss and more sketchy terrain. Our pride in tatters, we retreated!
Instead of the buttress, we headed up into the coire beneath Bidean and followed the broad snow gully to the top. The snow proved to be thawing but firm, easy to kick steps in. Central Gully was not complete (neither were any of the routes on Stob Coire nam Beith), but we noticed that Hourglass Gully on Bidean's West Top appeared to be in good condition.
Rain to spread in from tomorrow. At the moment the mountain crags are a little more loose and wet than usual due to the continuing thawing of the snow, which will doubtless continue for some time.