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Thursday 03rd 12 2009 12:16:00 PM

Pictures and words by Andy Main

First route of the season

Despite a knackered ankle I set out to the Cairngorm's last weekend for the first route of the season "Original Summer Route" a very nice varied IV, 5 **.

First pitch up the grooved rib was much harder than it looked. Being very balancy and insecure with gear hard to find under the crusted powder. Warren wobbled up the start with first route trepidation but soon got some solid gear and ran up the rest. The next pitch was an easy snow slope which unlike the steeper exposed sections still had unfrozen turf under the drifts. It offered little interest so I got me the next pitch as well.

First Pitch of Original Summer Route

The was the meat of the climb and total the opposite of the fist pitch, being steep but with bomber if hard to find hooks and having great gear. The first steep section lead to an exciting and un-gracefully move on a nose like block, with this mounted an interesting exposed traverse was encountered.

This consisted of a sloppy powder cover platform about a 1/4m wide hanging in space, with Aladdin's colour 50m below. A small ledge goes left to a flake were good gear can be had, this continues to taper leading to award hanging grove. Lucky the traverse is on very good hooks and there is a friendly peg waiting to be clipped before the intimidating move into the grove.

Exiting the 3rd pitch

One established in the grove a serious of steep corners and sloppy ledges lead to a nice belay on a huge flake. The climbing is a mixture with steep hooking and not much for the feet interspersed with dodgy moves onto insecure sloping powder ledges. This was the crux for me epically trying to high steep with and having mono's site about with doggy ankle It all felt quite hard for the garden but it probably just first route sakes.

First Hot Aches

Warren took over for the last pitch winch had about 10m of excitement which flattened out at the crest of Aladdin's buttress.

By now my ankle was very sore we decide against a second route of pygmy ridge.

Great first route of the season and highly recommended!

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