I had my first Scotish winter trip of the season this week with Andy Benson – on Monday 30 Nov we went for a ramble around on the Ben and ended up below Number 5 Gully Buttress. It was a bitter blue sky day with quite a stiff wind, there was plenty of snow and rime on the crags, and a not surprisingly a lot of ice plastered rock from Novembers wet weather. We had a top day on the FWA of Lysystrata (HVS) – a steep groove system on the left side of the crag giving 2 pitches of steep and technical climbing with excellent protection (approx VI, 7/8). Other teams were getting stuck into Sioux Wall, Babylon, Sidewinder, Tower ridge etc – so things have well and truly kicked off!
Tuesday started well enough, and we found ourselves on the classic Un Poco Loco on Church Door Buttress in Glencoe. Unfortunately, about half way up the second pitch Andy broke his axe and took a nasty fall, resulting in a badly broken jaw. We managed to get off the hill OK, but left quite a lot of rack (plus half an axe..) on the route, so if anyone is up that way we would appreciate its return – cash reward available!