Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Smith's Gully, Creag Meagaidh

An early-ish start and a pleasant walk in to Creag Meagaidh and Ron and I were off to climb Smith's Gully, a route which had been on Ron's hit list for many years but never seemed to be in condition at the opportune times.
Firstly the route began a lot further up Raeburn's Gully than we expected but looking at the guidebook afterwards showed me that Raeburn's is actually 360m in length. Soon Ron was climbing up the first pitch which turned out to be longer than the 35m described in the guide book. The ice was good and steeper than it looked with the top section proving to be the trickiest part of the whole route! The ice was a bit thin and crusty at this point.
Above was a snow bay, a comfortable stance and a view up the next pitch. The route was considerably foreshortened and 50 metres of rope didn't seem to go very far. Our next belay was on ice screws in a narrow gully down which funnelled what felt like tonnes of spindrift but probably wasn't that much really! 
Pitch four, the crux pitch was the most fun with great climbing up the gully then some steep moves at the top but the ice was good sos it felt easier than the top of the first pitch. Long, easy snow slopes above and we were on to the plateau.


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