Underneath The Shelterstone
I was in an odd mood this morning, indecisive yet bursting with energy. From past experience, mornings like that tend to turn into "link-up" days - climbing on one crag then moving on to the next, moving fast and keeping all options over. I love these days - I know very few greater freedoms.
Fiacaill Couloir (II/III*) ended up being first, a route that had always looked like one of the best lines in the corrie and so proved to be today on my first ever time up it. It's a good job I wasn't out looking for the thrutchy chockstone move the route often supplies, as the great boulder was no-where to be seen under a deep cover of firm snow.
Fiacaill Buttress. Fiacaill Couloir (II/III*) is hidden above.
The entrance to Fiacaill Couloir.
Looking down from the top.
Half way up the weather rapidly turned Scottish, but some snow and a white-out didn't dissuade me from making a quick march down towards the Loch Avon Basin.
The Basin was fully earning its nickname of the "realm of the senses" today, the mist and snow dancing around the massive Shelterstone Crag and the sound of the river running deep below the snowpack. It's one of those places that I feel it doesn't really matter what you actually do.
Garbh Uisge Crag (right) and the Shelterstone (left). Quartz Gully (II/III*) is just out of sight to the right.
Crevasses in Quartz Gully. No more photos of the route, the camera was getting soggy in the snow.
Spiral Gully (II**) turned into my last route for the day, a nice rapid romp up steep snow . Three and a half routes I'd never done before, a day well spent.