We had a very wet weekend and morning yesterday. The rain came in and stayed in, running down the hill sides and filling the streams and rivers. Running down from Meall an t'Suidhe yesterday afternoon was a case of going with the flow, slipping and sliding down the grass with the water, everything going with the flow of gravity. Today was dry though and the rock was drying out. At least, the rock with no sponge of peat above, newly filled with water, dripping fat drops down the rocks. Weeping Wall on the East Face of Aonach Dubh in Glen Coe does live up to its name. Wide streaks of wet weeps were all along the crag. So, it's good to know which climbs dry out a bit better, where you can find grippy, positive holds in between the wet slimy holds.
Nigel and I started out with Eve's Arete, a fabulous V.Diff with amazing exposure but big positive holds right where you want them. This is the section where the route traverse right over an overhang with steep blank rock above. Once you get to the arete with a lot of space beneath your feet the way up is more obvious. Up above the terrace is Archer Ridge which also dries out pretty quickly. Another excellent climb on great rock, this route is a little more devious than it first looks. You can follow the ridge directly at the same grade but the original route went right and back left on the second and third pitches, a route that neatly avoids the worst of the wet bits.
With the threat of a shower coming up Glen Coe we decided to finish with Quiver Rib. This is the steepest Diff in the country but with very positive holds. It follows the rib imediately next to the dark, dank chimney of The Bow but is never affected by the drips coming down it. Instead, Quiver Rib follows the rib and a groove above up this improbably steep cliff for the grade. Walking off towards Far Eastern Buttress we saw several deer leisurely munching the greenery and a kestrel patrolling the crags and keeping an eye on us. It didn't seem to be disturbed by us so its nest must be far away somewhere else. Altogether we had a wild day of climbing and nature with hardly anyone else in the glen and very little traffic on the road far below. Bliss.
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.