Saturday 13 February 2010

Marshall Smith challenge success!

Today, Diff and I are stationed in my house drinking vast quantities of tea, piling through an entire box of shortbread and generally recovering from the Smith Marshall week. We managed to do it, film it, photograph it and enjoy every minute of it.
Yesterday we left the CIC hut at 8ish and made a morning ascent of Orion Face Direct in glorious conditions to finish off, and top of the seven Ben Nevis routes. That left the sting in the tail - the Grey Corries traverse. It’s a big walk but not a big deal on it’s own. It was Smith and Marshall’s rest day from the climbs. However, after topping out on Orion Face and starting it for the afternoon itinerary, it started to feel a bit more uphill by the time we were floundering in deep snow up to Aonach Beag.
Several peaks later, glycogen ran out and autopilot and mars bars kept us plodding along the snow arete in the dark to Stob Coire Claurigh and the final jog down it’s long open plateau towards the lights of Spean Bridge. Our water supply had run out way back at Aonach Beag so I was hallucinating about a huge glass of orange and lemonade in the Commando Bar in Spean. It took two pints of the stuff before I could face a sip of celebratory beer.
Anyhow, I need to go back to preparing video and pictures of the week for our show at the Fort William Mountain Festival on Sunday night. Hopefully see you there for a good night of ice climbing inspiration.

Pristine ice grooves on Orion Face Direct

Moving out on a thin Smith’s Route

Donald - a man who can take a cameraman where few have gone before

Climbing into a deep blue sky - Point 5 Gully on Wednesday

Andy learning to cut steps

Glad to be standing on the last summit of the Grey Corries after traversing them after Orion Face


  1. A lot of good climbing done in Scotland...but I think this is one of the neatest things done in like...say 50 years :)

    I'd give my left nut to see the show on Sunday.

    For us poor sots that can't make the show thanks for all the web entertainment!

  2. Well done. It's been good to see the videos. I hope there is a DVD of this, that'd be good to see.

  3. An inspiring effort. Nicely done!

  4. A full length film and DVD/HD download will be available later in the year. Diff