Any climbing trip that involves a boat is going to be good. Cathy and I went for the Corran Ferry and timed it perfectly to drive straight on. It's then a short drive on the other side to the walk in to Garbh Bheinn, a wonderfully rough and wild Corbet in Ardgour. The rock here is gneiss which is clean, grippy and brilliant to climb on. Right below the summit lies the south face which gets sunshine all day with an outlook over Ben Nevis and Glen Coe. Today we could see down as far as Arran and out to Rum and the outer Hebrides. A gentle breeze and great company topped it off to make a wonderful day of climbing.
The classic of the crag is Butterknife, a four pitch VS. The first groove was a little wet and this, along with getting used to the features of the rock, made it feel a little awkward. The second pitch is stunning! It climbs a steep corner with wild moves around bulges and undercut flakes. Long limbs do help to bridge out and find a few extra rests but there is very good protection. Two more pitches got us to the top and the cairn at the top of the mountain. This is proper big mountain rock climbing with everything that goes with it - a few seeps and wet bits, some loose holds, immense exposure and vast situation.
A sandwich stop and a moment to soak up the view got us ready for another climb, Sgian Dubh. The fine jamming crack on the first pitch was actually a slimy thrutch, again made easier with some long limbs. It's well worth sticking with it though because the second pitch is amazing. Fantastic rock and crazy exposure following ramps first leftwards then back rightwards got us to the top of the climb and a short sprachle to the top of the mountain again. As always with Cathy, it was a school day for me and I learned a bunch of stuff about hares, deer, heather moorland and many more things. I'm a grateful sponge when it comes to this stuff and it is always more complicated than it seems. Thank you Cathy; brilliant climbing and a lovely day.
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.