Having been climbing for 40 years, it’s hard to believe I’ve never done a summer climb on The Ben. Much debate about factors such as proximity (it’d be “on the way” to Glencoe); orientation (it’d be in the shade by the time we got there and it was scorchio!); and approach (it’s a “short” 2 hours) saw us finally settle on our objective – Centurion, with the added bonus of another prospective Hard Rock tick.
A leisurely start and the drive from The Cairngorms had us wandering up from the North Face carpark at 1 pm
… with the CIC hut and Carn Dearg Buttress coming into view about 90mins later. Getting into the shade of the crag was quite a relief!
… with Centurion taking the obvious line up the imposing corner system in the right of the photo below (you can just about make out a team at the end of pitch 2).
The hardest moves are perhaps straight off the deck…
… and Andy ran the first two pitches together into a rope-stretching 50m run-out. There’s a LOT of 5a in there!
Meanwhile we were entertained by the piloting skills of the rescue helicopters on what looked to be a training exercise on Tower Ridge.
Paul got a photogenic arete…
… and then Andy lead us off the face with the balancy 5a traverse.
Good value for HVS 5a and of course well worth its 4*s and Hard Rock status.
Slightly worrying descent via Ledge Route
… and back down to the van by 8 to enjoy the fine sunny evening and a couple of beers.