Gearr Aonach

Glen Coe is a magnificent spot, with some sensational climbing, but a lot of it is shady and it’s almost all a good hour from the car. Looking for a fairly quick hit to make the most of a breezy, sunny day, Gearr Aonach sounded like a good option – as Gary Latter points out: “The most accessible mountain routes in Scotland (with the exception of…

Gearr Aonach is the middle of the Three Sisters, most famous for the Lost Valley where the MacDonalds of Glen Coe hid their rustled cattle (allegedly).

It’s a big dome of steep rock with climbing all around it, but the sunny East Face was of interest to us. Once we’d left the selfie-takers and drone-flyers at the parking, there was only a steady trickle of walkers on the Lost Valley path, and we had the hill to ourselves once we’d forked right up towards the ZigZags. We weren’t even sandbagged by the guidebook 40mins approach.

You branch right again to head for the base of the buttress and the classic easy scramble of The ZigZags (following the obvious right then left ramp lines:

Fab views down to the glen…

We did a couple of routes immediately left of the first zig – Harebell Wall, S 4a, and Hairy Kipper, VDiff. Both around 50m covering somewhat heathery ground but on good holds. More memorable for the situation and the scenery than the climbing, but a very pleasant way to spend a fairly relaxing afternoon…

… before watching the sunset over Loch Linnhe.

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