Monday, 28 May 2007

Mountains of Frustration

We had grand plans for Saturday, unfortunately they remain unfulfilled. We set off from Mar Lodge in good time, aiming for Eagle Ridge on Lochnagar: three of us, two ropes, one rack. All good until we topped the col that drops down into the Corrie of Lochnagar, whereupon we were pelted with hailstones. The temperature dropped dramatically and the wind was icy.

Eagle Ridge from the top of Lochnagar

We picked our way down the slope towards the lochan and stopped for a confab and a look at the route. It's certainly an impressive line and looks as though it deserves it's 3 (or 5, depending which book you read) stars. Unfortunately, I am unable to pass any further judgement than that, since at this point my companions (who are well seasoned and experienced climbers) proffered the suggestion that it was too cold, and that traversing the snow slope at the bottom of the route was a bit too hairy for their liking. So we bailed.


Instead, we walked up The Ladder and round to the top of Lochnagar, along with the world and his wife (or rather half the population of the north east and half the population of Germany). Everyone who wasn't running the Edinburgh marathon on Sunday was at the top of Lochnagar on Saturday. We stopped for some food and were approached by a german chap who seemed confused; he'd lost his friend, and his friend had the map. He didn't know which was was down, appeared not to be able to see anything (except that he had a pair of binoculars...) and was more intent on repeating every word we said (regarding the directions he had asked for) than listening to which word came next. Very odd.

The mad myopic german, and non-marathon runners behind

So we got to The Top, but by a rather circuitous and unintended route. No trip is a wasted trip, so I have at least done some training for carrying gear up mountains, and exercised my frustration genes well. I have also made a mental note about who to climb with and who to do recce missions with.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Everyone who wasn't running the Edinburgh marathon on Sunday was at the top of Lochnagar on Saturday.


Some of us planet-killing motorsport buffs were elsewhere: either watching the F1 and F3 racing on the goggle-box or (as in my case) pottering in the shed fettling our cars.