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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

22 degrees and summer cragging on Aladdin's

Temperatures in the twenties and even a drought in places,  it feels more like summer than most summers! Rock climbing in the mountains usually starts around May but this year it's really good in March!
Looking for a shorter day compared to our weekend's winter climbing expedition into Garhb Coire on Braeriach, we headed in to climb Doctor Janis a VS on Aladdin's Buttress.
This is a rock climb that we've not done before as it's in the shade and often damp.
However the neighbouring routes such as Genie, Magic Crack, Salvation and Damnation have all been excellent.
With the prolonged spell of warm dry weather the route looked fairly dry on the upper pitches. We walked in after lunch to get the sun and met Ken A and Max who'd climbed Centurion on Monday and were returning from climbing Magic Crack. Details on Ken's blog here
The start as expected was slightly damp, vegetated and dirty and the climbing's worrying due to some of the huge loose flakes and blocks, though with some good situations if you trust pulling or standing on huge jammed beaks of rock.
It's better on the upper two pitches especially now there's even less loose rock after a hold broke, just missed Fi and damaged the ropes :-(

The second pitch is only about 30 metres and not the 45 metres in the guidebook and similar for the top pitch which is also very unstable at the top.
We then climbed across and down the broken loose ground for our descent from the top of Magic Crack.
Genie, Salvation and Damnation were completely dry, though since last May someone has removed the lower ab rope sling from the Damnation/Salvation belay stance :-(
A good adventure and our first proper rock climb of the season, though enjoying the sun and hating loose rock I now realise why I'd not done the route before!

It does get a wee bit of sun on the traverse and possibly more later in the season. See the photos on Fi's blog here
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