Monday 29 November 2010

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Early season winter conditions, meant a trip to Scotland with Dave Almond was not to be missed, and after leaving Liverpool at 10pm we were on the way to the Ben for an attempt at Sioux Wall.
Unfortunately it was 4am by the time we arrived in the car park and after sorting the pile of kit dumped hurriedly into the car, there was no time for any sleep and we were on the way.
With the temp at -9 and a steady breeze the wind chill was probably about -20, and standing at the base of the wall, we were in two minds as to wether to try something easier, as belaying was going to be less than pleasurable. 
We both wanted this one badly though, so without further ado, I knocked off the entry pitch and belayed at the start of the proper climbing. The next two pitches were fantastic, covering some steep ground on positive placements with good protection. (Mux you gotta get on it!)
Dave led onto the summit plateau and we were back at the car by 6pm, tired but happy to get this modern classic so smoothly. Good to see the White Goods training paying off!
After a few to many beers in the Clachiag, we went into the Lost Valley on Sunday to try Neanderthal, but it was about 11.30 by the time we got on it, and the weather was deteriorating. After climbing the 2nd pitch and bringing Dave up it was 3pm and bitterly cold, so we decided to call it a day as the next pitch was going to be at least two hours to lead and I didn't fancy seconding it in the dark. As somebody once said "I'll be back".
The drive home was quite exciting as the road south was blocked, so we tried the A9.
This was closed at Perth but with a sneaky detour we got around the police road block and cruised down the empty road putting fresh tracks through the new snow!