Beinn an Dothaidh

22 02 2010
Got perilously close to the top of this one!

21st February 2010. Wasn’t sure if I’d have the time (or the inclination) to not get to the top of this one. Intention was, me and Pete would head to Bridge of Orchy, drop off Arlene, Irene and Elvis somewhere along the road to go for a walk, and we’d head up to Coire an Dothaidh and take a wee shot at The Flasher. Plan almost worked. Pete, suffering from a hangover sat next to me all the way up stuffing his face with my fruit gums and cultivating a worrying silence. One I have come to recognise over the last year or so.

Stopped at Scotland’s coldest toilet in Crianlarich to drop the girls and Elvis off on the WHW, and set off for Bridge of Orchy.
Got parked up and set off up towards the crag. It looked stunning, and once again I managed to get a fabulous day for it. Is it just me or is this the best winter we’ve had? As we got closer, the quite obvious line of  The Flasher came into view and the sloping ramp which finished the route looked in great nick, however, the narrow ice ramp on the first pitch looked very thin. We plodded on hoping it would open out a bit as we moved up the Coire. The sun was dazzling, and the whole mountain shone in beautiful bright February clarity. About halfway up the slope I cut a ledge an fished out my crampons, Pete came up and did the same. I headed towards the sloping ramp at the entrance to The Flasher. The mid section still looked thin, but I wanted to get a better look at it so I told Pete I’d move up to where it thins out to get a shoofty. As I moved up the ramp, I could sense that there was a hollowness to what I was on. The top layer of snow was like icing sugar, and a crusty ice layer lay below. I stopped and chipped away at the ice at my chest. It gave way and a ten inch round hole fell through into nothing. I could get my whole arm into it into fresh air! Time to retreat!
We moved up to take a look at a few parties climbing on Salamander Gully. It looked fabulous! but as each party went up, loads of it came tumbling down the crag!
Pete and I moved up and found a route to the top through some nice rock scenery through some steep snow slopes. It was a fabulous aspect and the snow was perfect.
As we headed to the plateau, there was only one way to go – almost the top! within 20 minutes we were almost at the summit. It was time for lunch. We sat and watched parties come over Taxus. What a day for it, I was fair jealous! Pete, couldn’t resist it, and let us both down by going to the summit, and he’s been there before!
Pete moving very slowly up some very easy angled snow! Nearly climbing.

Lovely walk off, Bridge of Orchy hotel for a pint to soothe my burnt face. And Pete scoffed all my chocolate on the way home!

Another beautiful day on the mountains. Another summit almost reached! What one next? Who knows?




2 responses

22 02 2010
Peter Polis

Correct in every aspect of your blog. Fruit gums where great. Why did you leave them overnight in the car…extra chewy. Chocolate was even better. Back to your blog though…you forgot to mention me climbing like a girl, crying like a baby and cacking my pants like a pro! The only thing you got wrong was the silence….its cause your craic is pish!!!!

24 02 2010

Many people have said my Craic is pish, no one has ever said my crack is pish fortunately! However, when it comes to craic and conversation i find it’s a 2 way thing brother. Many a good comedian is failed by a poor audience! ; )

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