Like most people, I have been up the south side of Glen Coe many times but only twice have I been up the north side other than to traverse an t'Aonach Eagach. I have climbed Blue Riband twice (in the space of three days) and I have always been curious about the gullies and ridges that stand out so well above the glen. So, after a hard frost (-8C) and with good snow cover Mick and I went to explore The Chancellor. To be honest, I knew that Donald had been up yesterday so there would be a boot trail to follow and he said it was amazing!
We certainly got our dose of sunshine today. After a short but steep walk in we started off up heathery and mossy ground on ridges and gullies just to the right of the foot of the main ridge. The way to go is relatively straightforward and we were very happy to find the turf and moss very well frozen. There are a couple of steep sections on frozen moss that were fun today but would be terrifying if the moss was soggy. The main steep section is exactly as described in the book - head left around a shelf and back onto the crest before a really nice, and really exposed, pitch of grade IV gets you to a more reasonable angle section, high above Glen Coe.
The last asection up to Am Bodach is just amazing. We had fabulous snow, glorious sunshine, brilliantly narrow snow crest on the ridge and a position that rivals anything in the Alps on a day like today. On a very well frozen day with lots of sunshine this is a brilliant route and a great way for Mick to get his legs working again for the winter of climbing to come! Thanks Donald and John for the trail!
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.