26th Janurary

This week has shown that Scottish Winter Climbing can be the best in Europe.
I met a swiss couple from Grindelwald who had cancelled their climbing trip to Kandersteg in favour of the Ben due to the poor conditions in Europe.
Euan has updated the site for Monday regarding Scabbard chimney.
I returned to Stob Coire Nan Lochain to climb Moonshadow with Gregor Imrie and Alan Crombie.
This route takes the right hand start of twisting gully and continues up the wall on the right into a chimney and on to the top.
We all agreed the crux was the right hand start of the gully the route has some great climbing and the new grade of IV5 feels more realistic than the old grade of III.
Gregor and I climbed the North east buttress on the Ben the route was plastered in plastic ice and Gregor climbed a beautiful all be it short pitch of steep ice before the big snowfield.
The mantrap lived up to its name we both had a go at it before it gave up the fight.
Resisting the urge to follow the footprints which bypass it we clipped the pegs and battle commenced, a little more ice on top of it would make it a lot easier.
The forty foot corner was covered in great snow ice and proved relatively straightforward.
Overall the route is in easy but bold condition as clearing snow for runners would be time consuming.
I teamed up with new route activist James Edwards to look at a few unclimbed lines on the Shelter Stone check his blog page for
photos and description.

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