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Monday, 28 April 2014

Sparkling hidden gems and crystals!

A lovely warm sunny day so dragged Fi away from the removal packing for a little jaunt up the local hills and some early evening climbing :-)
A few weeks ago while climbing on Aladdin's Seats Pinnacle, I was reminded of a winter line we had climbed with a client Chris a few years ago, as a continuation of Patey's Route on the upper rock ribs.
Our route climbed icey grooves and a chimney just to the right, then onto the upper pinnacled sharks fin on the right edge of Aladdins Couloir. See http://talisman-activities.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/windy-and-warmer.html
It's a natural and finely situated line, although the continuation of the Original Route, Aladdins Seat Pinnacle onto the upper sharks fin of Aladdin's Right Edge is strangely missing from modern guidebooks?
I suggested to Fi  that we should climb this line direct in the summer as the rock on the crest of the upper fin, like the Pinnacle, looked fairly sound.
When I suggested this Fi, like myself wasn't keen on the middle, loose, blocky, scramble between Original Route and the Pinnacle of Aladdin's Seat.
I then suggested that we could instead descend the Grade 1 snow of Aladdins Couloir from the plateau to the upper Righthand Edge start.
It would be good alpine preparation for our annual trip the Alps, to climb it in big boots with a short 30 metre half rope and small scrambling rack.

I really wasn't sure what the grade the direct rock line was, but somehow knew I could take the most direct and exposed line, which we did, although the blank slabby wall and balancey friction moves would have been more fun in rock boots rather than dripping wet B3 mountaineering boots!
We climbed the upper edge in two and a bit pitches with good comfortable stances and some fun airy moves overlooking Aladdins Couloir.
Now that I know the rock on the crest is fairly sound (much better than Fingers Ridge!) and that the climbing good, I'll just have to work out a less loose and more pleasant approach to our summer start when there's no snow!
As for the crystals see the Talisman Guides Facebook photo album here and short YouTube video here.
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