Happy Tyroleans, Happy Scots...

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Dave Redpath - 07/01/2003

Dave MacLeod and Alan Mullin have repeated Happy Tyroleans at Corie Lochan in the Cairngorms. This was Daves 5th attempt at the route which was climbed ground up style with no previous inspection and lowering off. Dave lead both pitches, with Alan seconding.

Daves first attempt in April 2000 seen him onsight to the lip of the overhanging wall, Dave was denied however as the cruitial turf needed to complete the rockover was hidden. Dave attempted to use a poor hook instead, this however failed leaving him dangling from the lower axe wrist loop, he was soon rewarded with only the whipper. The lower axe defiantly held in place which he later had to aid back up to retrieve from the lip. Three later attempts on the route were thwarted low down due to ice in the cracks preventing the cruitial friend protection.

Dave had this to say about the route:

My grade opinion is IX,10 and I feel that it is miles harder than any other winter route Ive done. It is the only winter route Ive ever weighted gear on. Alan Mullin seconded cleanly and also agrees IX,10. The top pitch is easy VII, 7. The reason why I think it's so hard is the angle Its the only route Ive done where I have felt that being strong and fit was important. Any other winter routes Ive done only needed good technique, nothing more. When I nearly onsighted it, I had just come home from three weeks sport climbing at Ceuse. I put my success down to well trained psychological and tactical skills and my fitness, both of which were gained from recent high level rock climbing.

I am happy to have done a ground up ascent of a route which required redpoint tactics from some of Austrias best mixed climbers. Just goes to show that Scottish routes, standards and ethics arent so far behind (if at all) or dated as some would like to think! However, that doesnt mean to say I'm against redpoint/headpoint tactics being used here. If they are used, as they have been in rock climbing, they will assist a rise in standards which will ultimately feed back into onsighting."

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