Skye repeats

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Dave Redpath - 10/06/2004

DaveMac-gathering1.jpg

Dave Macleod and Michael Tweedley have returned from a productive trip to Skye's Corie Laggan. Their short visit seen them repeat a number of the established boulder problems by locals James Sutton and Si O'conor, as well as establish some new ones.

Dave also redirected his attention back to an old project on the Cioch he had attempted on a previous year. I'll let Dave describe...

"The route takes the steep and shady underside of the Cioch itself, following the line of a faint seam running above roofs which leads to a lonely spike in the middle of the wall. The meat of the route (up to the spike) has no protection and sustained 6b a long way above the very hard Cioch slabs below. However, the climbing is awesome - crimping the pock-marked texture of the rock. I top roped the route in 2002 but couldn't return for the lead due to bad weather. This time I had it wired again in an hour and led before the weather had a chance to intervene again. The route is called The Gathering and is about E8 6b (7b+ climbing with a 40 foot fall straight onto the slabs if you fall). The biggest problem for the lead was the slightly scrittly nature of the pocks and smears; there was a tendency for tiny crystals to crumble beneath your feet/fingers as you moved. This happened on the crucial final pocket from which you reach the spike holds. I started the move but a crystal broke, making me wobble slightly. I locked off and blew on the pocket, rechalked and regained composure and kept going. All a bit scary. Hardest route in the Cuillin and on Skye."

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