Dry rock for climbing has been in short supply for a couple of weeks. Today was no exception. It stop raining for much of the day and in some shelter from the wind it was not so cold. But it was certainly wet so Nigel and I went to climb Barn Wall Route on the East Face of Aonach Dubh. This is in some scrambling guidebooks and is graded as a Moderate climb. Dont be fooled though, this very much like a rock climb, especially with cold and wet fingers!
The climb goes straight up this very impressive wall with lots of comfortable terraces for belays, lending it to lots of short pitches very nicely. The climbing is excellent and with positive, incut holds on red rhyolite. It's also very steep and has an intimidating feel to, caused mostly by the sparse protection! If you expect to find easy belay anchors on blocks and spikes you'll be disapointed. Take a good selection of nuts and a good nose for sniffing out the placements.
It was a great choice for today, giving us a really good experience of rock climbing with moderate moves. The rain came in again later this afternoon and we're expecting a very stormy few days. High pressure might start to return next week so we might get some more settled and calm weather then.
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Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.