Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

21-02-10, Meall Gorm - Winter Climbing

A brief rest yesterday after 7 days of work, allowing us to pack the van for a few days climbing in Applecross. Sunday was an amazing blue sky sunny day. The relatively low level mountains of Applecross, Meall Gorm and Beinn Bhan are covered in snow and ice. It is very cold at night and in the shade, so the hoar crystals are large and everywhere on top of the snow pack. We headed to Meall Gorm, after an initial attempt of Lobster Gully IV,5 we found the 'well protected chimneys' at the top were far from well protected or grade 5 for that matter. We traversed onto the crux pitches of Blue Pillar V,6 instead, a harder climb but far more climbable! Some dry rock with snow ledges to negotiate - slight alpine feel to it. The sandstone lends itself very well to cam placements, so it is well worth packing a few extra to normal. Picture - right, shows the last chimney pitch of Blue Pillar. Meall Gorm at sunset. The Applecross single lane road (Britain's second highest road) with hairpins bends must be one of the most impressive roads in the UK?

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