SMC Journal New Routes Website
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
3w ago
Hot off the press – the new SMC Journal New Routes website contains over 9000 route descriptions representing the most comprehensive Scottish new routes listing available. The Scottish Mountaineering Club collects route descriptions for new routes climbed each year and publishes them in the SMC Journal. These descriptions are now available online via the following interactive website: < https://newroutes.smc.org.uk> The website is available to all and works on any desktop, tablet or smartphone that has an Internet connection. It includes all routes that have been published in the Jo ..read more
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Southern Highlands Twin Pack
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
1M ago
Rich Bentley leading pitch 1 of Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker (IV,4) on Beinn a’ Chreachain in the Southern Highlands. (Photo Stuart McFarlane) On December 11 Dec, Stuart McFarlane, Di Gilbert and Rich Bentley visited Beinn a’ Chreachain in the Bridge of Orchy hills. Fuelled by stories of ‘unclimbed icicles’ by Erik Brunskill, I’d always meant to explore here,” Stuart told me. “Being in the company of two experienced Mountain Guides, who had discussed the best line of approach, I could fully enjoy the scenery and beautiful clear day. After what felt like walking for hours, we arrived at th ..read more
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Pollaidh Perfect
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
1M ago
Caption: John Higham on the first ascent of No.2 Buttress Original Route (IV,6) on Stac Pollaidh. The route comes up from the gully below the climber before emerging between the pinnacle on the far left and the main tower. Their line of footsteps traversing below the main tower before gaining the arete are clearly visible. (Photo Iain Young) Iain Young and John Higham made a winter ascent of No.2 buttress on Stac Pollaidh via a variation of Original Route (an ancient summer Diff) on December 12. “It was a fabulous day out and our third attempt on the route,” Iain reports. “The first time the m ..read more
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Base Jump Buttress
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
1M ago
Huw Scott climbing the initial groove of Base Jump Buttress (IV,5) on Sgurr Dearg in Skye. This section of cliff was previously unclimbed in either summer or winter but had been the location for several base jumps. (Photo Mike Lates) Nathan Adam, Huw Scott and Mike Lates made the first ascent of Base Jump Buttress (IV,5) in Coire na Banachdaich on Sgurr Dearg in the Cuillin in December 10. Nathan takes up the story: “Huw and I had a wee nosey at the north east facing crag on Garbh Bheinn on Friday but got chased off with mushy conditions so we knew that the next day we’d have to go higher. Mik ..read more
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Winter Begins!
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
1M ago
Ole Kemi climbing Millennium Buttress (V,5) on The Stuic on Lochnagar. The route was first climbed over 22 years ago and this is possibly the first repeat. (Photo Stuart McFarlane) Once again, it’s been a slow start to the Scottish winter season and most of November was unseasonably mild. There was a three-day window in late November when the snowed up rock routes in the Northern Corries came briefly on condition and those lucky enough to be in position made ascents of Savage Slit, The Hoarmaster, Hooker’s Corner and Deep Throat.  Winter started for real on Sunday December 4 with teams i ..read more
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Duncan Tunstall (1962 – 2022)
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
11M ago
Duncan Tunstall climbing in Glen Esk in the Southern Cairngorms. Duncan added hundreds of new routes across Scotland and was at his happiest when pioneering adventurous new ground. (Photo Henning Wackerhage) My friend Duncan Tunstall died last month. Duncan lived with an inoperable brain tumour for 20 years, but this never stopped him living life to the full. Duncan had huge energy, great imagination, and an unstoppable love for adventure. He made first ascents in the Karakorum, China and the Alps and climbed well over 200 new routes in Scotland. Duncan joined the North London Mountaineering C ..read more
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The Fear Factory
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
11M ago
Greg Boswell stepping out on to the huge hanging icicle of The Fear Factory (WI6R) on the Little Brenva Face on Ben Nevis. This magnificent feature was the last great unclimbed icefall on Ben Nevis. (Photo Hamish Frost) On form Greg Boswell succeeded on one of the most prized objectives on Ben Nevis on March 6 when he made the first ascent of The Fear Factory (WI6R), the prominent hanging icicle on the lower part of the Little Brenva Face, with Guy Robertson and Hamish Frost. The upper part of the hanging ice fang was climbed Dave MacLeod and Andy Nelson when they climbed The Sn ..read more
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An Ice Surprise
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
11M ago
Andy Harrison on the first ascent of An Ice Surprise (IV,4/5) on Lurcher’s Crag on Cairn Gorm. The route continues up the line of steep icefalls on the left for another six pitches to the to the top of the cliff. (Photo Dave Riley) Dave Riley and Andy Harrison had an excellent day on Lurcher’s Crag on February 25. They climbed a continuous run of ice between Central and Diamond gullies up the highest part of the crag resulting in the 365m-long An Ice Surprise (IV,4/5). “We had a fantastic day on Lurcher’s Crag making the most of the weather window and the aspect,” Dave told me. “We traversed t ..read more
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Far North Holibobs
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
1y ago
Robin Clothier making the first ascent of the Left-Hand Finish (III,4) to Positive Vegetation on Stac Pollaidh. This excellent route first climbed by Erik Brunskill and Dafydd Morris in November 2001. (Photo Stuart McFarlane) Stuart McFarlane, Di Gilbert and Robin Clothier had a productive few days in the North-West last week.  On February 16, they walked into Beinn Dearg, hoping to escape Storm Dudley. The plan worked and they made the first ascent of the Dudley Direct Start (IV,6) to The Tower of Babel. This climbs the lower tier below original, giving an additional 50m climbing at same ..read more
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The Last Crusade
Scottish Winter
by Simon Richardson
1y ago
Guy Robertson on the first ascent of Last Crusade Winter Variation (IX,9) on Church Door Buttress in Glen Coe. The route continues up the grooves above to gain the hanging ice fang. Gates of Paradise (VIII,8) takes the prominent V-groove to the right and gains the front face of the ice. The icicle-draped overhang of The Ninety Five Theses (IX,9) can be seen high on the right. (Photo Greg Boswell) Greg Boswell has just returned to Scotland after two months of high standard ice and mixed climbing in the Alps. He put his fitness to great effect on February 21 when he climbed a winter version of T ..read more
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