Church Door Buttress on Bidean nam Bian in Glen Coe was surprisingly busy today. With a reasonable walk in (actually not as bad as you might think) you don't normally see many people there but it was the place to be today. Tommy, Stuart and I went for West Chimney Route, a fantastic climb that I have never climbed before. At long last I got to climb it today and it was great fun.
We followed Steve and Dot who have been having a busy week as well. It was great to see Ken and Hannah climbing Flake Route as well. The crux pitch climbs steeply over a collection of chock stones with good protection and very positive hooks. A bit of cunning bridging takes a lot of weight off the arms which is useful. The route used to go underground here but the blocks moved and you need to climb the outside these days. The grade is probably the same though at technical 6. It's steep for a move but very secure. V,6 seems about right to me for the whole route.
As always, crossing the arch was very impressive. The exit pitch from the arch was OK and the descent slopes were nice and easy. On the way down we saw Ian and Murdo had made the first ascent of the very steep ice line on the crag, a route that has been eyed up by many people for a long time. It was also good to see Greg back in action - looking forward to seeing him at the Fort William Mountain Festival
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.