Twisting Grooves, Glen Coe

With blue sky spreading across Glen Coe this morning myself and Hannah headed up to Stob Corrie nan Lochan.  With a small amount of fresh snow from yesterday, breaking trail wasn’t too hard and the view of the crags was getting better and better.

Once in the corrie we headed towards Twisting Grooves a friendly IV,5 with options higher up if need be and reports of small cornices.  There were a few patches of windslab up to the base of the crags, but easily bypassed and with the whole corrie to ourselves I headed up the 1st pitch.

This consisted of a series of, well, twisting grooves strangely, increasing in steepness as the pitch went on separated by small snow bays.  Luckily at the snow bays I managed to find some gear as there wasn’t much anywhere else and then made my way up the next steep section.  In the 50m pitch I placed 5 pieces of gear and one was a dodgy ice screw near the belay.

On pitch 2 (which could also be a pitch of Twisting Gully) Hannah led off over a short steep step and then up the snow slope to the belay.  On the 3rd pitch the wind started to pick up to annoying mph and I headed up over a small icy slab and to the base of the final chimney.  However about 2 meters into the chimney I couldn’t head up any more, trying to find out why was tricky in the tight space and the rime ice being blown in my face.  But it turned out that my runner had clipped into my harness gear loop with the chimney being so tight as I had moved up passed it.  So I down climbed, replaced it and headed up, this time with a few less foot placements as the ice was a bit cruddy.  A few good hooks later and I was at the top and heading towards the belay.

Hannah made quick work of the pitch and carried on walking past, over the small cornice and to the top.  A good blue sky day, and by the end a very busy corrie.

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