Today I headed out with Mike Pescod of Abacus Mountaineering and his client Mick. Heading out with other qualified guides give some excellent opportunities to ask plenty of questions and most importantly seeing how they operate in the Scottish winter environment. A big thanks to Mike for letting me tag along - I had an excellent day!
Today we heading onto the west face of aonach dubh. Mike made the call to go there due to the wind direction and sheer volume of snow. Heading onto lee aspects there was a good chance you would be swimming and hearing from one source this was the case on the Ben!
The plan was to head up towards pinnacle face described as a IV but the first winter ascent missed the steep chimney at the start. The above picture shows Mike climbing the first pitch that consisted of good steep hooks, squeezing awkwardness and pretty good protection. He also thought it might be the first ascent of this part of the route and definently worth the short approach. We stuck to the pinnacle ridge/face after that and topped out via a traverse right onto the ampetheatre buttress area.
Word is approaches are pretty difficult so it looks like a day of skiing at aonach mor with Blair! Could be worse I guess.