Friday, 20 May 2011

The Cobbler, an old stomping ground.

Day 2 with Alan working for Mountain plan and with the forecast looking wetter than yesterday we decided to go for a day of mountaineering rather than standing at the bottom of a wet crag. We headed to the Cobbler by Arrochar to do the traverse of the South and Central peaks. This is a mountain I know well as I spent a year in this area a few years back when I got my first job in the outdoors at Ardroy OEC (which needs saving) and it was nice to be back with lots of familiar views. 

The Cobblers three peaks with a snow covered Ben Ime in the distance.

We had spent the night camping at Ardgarten campsite and when we woke in the morning we were surprised to see snow down to about 700m. Thankfully the snow line was retreating as we ate our breakfast so we were happy that most of it would have gone by the time we got there. We headed up the path to the dam crossed the river and made our way up the broad ridge line to the base of the south peak.

The final pitch up to the central summit. The south peak and Loch Long in the background.

The route starts up some pretty wet and greasy grass covered ledges but soon improves and gives some nice pitches of grade 3 scrambling linked by sections of grass and finishes on top of the south summit which has some fantastic views towards the Central and North peaks. A 20m abseil from this top takes you onto a lower ledge which then joins the main path up to the start of the scrambling on the centre peak. There is an obvious abseil point off the very top but there is a possibility your rope might get stuck. If you make a couple of difficult moves down to a lower ledge there are many more better options or you could down climb the very green and wet ordinary route.

Threading the eye on the central summit with an approaching snow shower in the distance.

The next section can be avoided and is escapable but why would you as the exposure increases and you get to stand on the true summit. We finished of this summit by threading the summit stone and back on to the main path again. The weather had been mixed today with spells of sunshine and spells of driving hail and snow. Despite all this it is a fantastic route with some fantastic positions and I'm sure a continuation down from the North summit would be possible making it an even better day out all it needs is a bit more traffic.

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