Sunday, 16 December 2012

All quiet on Hells Lum

Hannah and I made plans to head over the back of Cairngorm today and I'm glad we did as the rain bouncing off my window over here on the West whilst lying in Bed didn't exactly fill me with Joy. The drive East thankfully gave us some blue sky and even a view of some of the tops but with a strong and steady wind blowing that made the walk up to 1141m take a bit longer than normal. From here we dropped into Coire  Domhain and down under Hells Lum to climb the Cold Climbs classic, Deep Cut Chimney.

Hannah on the entry pitch to get you inside the chimney.

What a great little route with some nice grade III/IV climbing to get you established deep inside the chimney and then a short steep traverse back out and onto the face. Many guide books give this IV,4/5 but I don't know whether I went at it expecting it to be easy but I actually had to pull. Not a sign of anyone all day until we dropped back down the goat track to hear a few teams still on routes as the light was fading fast.

An easy pitch of snow to get you deep inside the chimney.

There is still an excellent cover of snow and the surface is weight bearing in some places but you are still breaking through in quite a few places. The crags are white still but the thaw and freeze has made the crags a little icy, great for the climbing but gear is hard one still. Chatting to a team who had done the runnel and from our own experiences, the snow in the gullies is brilliant yet. consolidated in some places but still mostly loose but there are some helpful sections of ice about.

Hannah about to do battle with the crux.

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