It’s not often that Glen Coe has a better weather forecast than Pembroke or Gogarth, and even more unlikely that you’ll be lucky enough to find yourself there when it does, so we were really chuffed to be driving down the Glen past “The Buckle” in glorious sunshine.
Pulling into the parking at the bottom of the glen, the East Face of Aonach Dubh was quickly confirmed as the objective for the day (Stob Coire nan Lochan being ruled out for being covered in snow).
The piper was doing a roaring trade with the passing tour buses
… as we left the van and set off up towards the crag
High up on the left hand of the well named Weeping Wall, Spider Right Hand takes a discontinuous corner crack the full height of the crag in 45 fun packed metres of VS climbing. Fantastic rock with abundant square cut holds and great friction together with ample gear mean that the soggy gloop that fills much of the crack can be safely avoided. Brilliant!
A linking pitch of about 30m and a bit of a scramble brings you to the foot of Terrace Face, and the start of Archer Ridge, a 3* Severe that makes it into Classic Rock. This takes a blunt arête then cracked walls in 3 pitches to the top of the crag (70m in all but we ran the whole lot together and just about made it on 60m ropes). Fine line, but we were left a bit disappointed by how easy it was – maybe we need to postpone our Classic Rock ticking until further into our dotage! Fab views over to the Aonach Eagach.
Back to the van and great to have Craigallan just 15 minutes down the road as a welcoming base for the night. The newly built sun room is a real winner
… and we enjoyed a stunning sunset over Loch Linnhe