Last weekend I had a great trip to Scotland with Jon Bracey. Jon was over in the UK from Cham doing some ‘family time’ but somehow managed to extract a 3 day pass… enough time to try one of the dream NW routes, like Godfather! We kicked off with Messiah at Bridge of Orchy which was just wintery enough – a typical ‘looking down’ day but freezing and plenty of ice where it mattered. Down at the car by early afternoon we phoned the Moran helpline, and it was decreed that the roads were just about open and a track was in place to Beinn Bhann from an ascent that day of Great Overhanging Gully – result!
A few hrs later we were tucking into the worlds biggest burgers at the loch Carron hotel, surrounded by paralytic snowed in locals – it was just like the Southern Comfort advert, only Scottish. After a few hrs kip in the Kishorn layby we set off in the helpful tracks, but unfortunately misjudged the daylight in these parts and arrived at the crag in the pitch black, with no clue where the entry pitch went. An hour or so of hanging around peering into the gloom left us pretty chilly and intimidated, but an amazing clear day eventually dawned, and saw us ready to climb by 9ish. It was a brilliant day out, but I managed to snap the handle off my axe on the second pitch which was a gutter, untill we discovered the second could just about manage with one good axe and the stump!
The route is top class, an amazing journey through unlikely terrain with sustained meaty climbing – well worth all the accolades we’d heard and read, Moran and Tattersall must have been well stoked to climb this thing! We topped out at 6pm and legged it to the Loch Carron hotel for food, before bailing down the road to Glencoe for our last day. Another night in the hotel Focus was only possible due to the weather – our gear wasnt wet due to the freezing temps – a rare treat.. We finished in SCNL with Central Buttress which is ace, really high quality climbing with great positions on the middle wall pitch. It was a pretty gnarly drive home after our christmas family time..!