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the brack via igles clark arete

the brack via igles clark arete

Postby mgmt! » Tue Feb 18, 2014 6:47 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: The Brack

Date walked: 16/02/2014

Time taken: 6 hours

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weather conditions this season for climbing have been poor, so this sundays forecast of low winds and -3 at 900 metres saw 7 of us from the lomond club head up to arrochar with a view to getting a route done. on driving down into arrochar we could see the cobbler was plastered with loads of fresh snow . so after a brief meeting in the cobbler car park we decided on driving round to the brack as the recent north winds might make the walk in easier.
we set of from the car park through the forest and were soon greated with a fine view of our ridge .
P2160531 (640x480).jpg
first view

the path takes you steeply up through the forest. in no time we emerged onto the open hillside and continued up the normal walkhighlands route to the brack.
P2160533 (640x480).jpg
way up towards bealach,

we eventually moved right toward the buttress, we had talked about elephant gully, and igles clark arete followed by january buttress.. we opted for ingles clark artete as the gully looked pretty loaded.
P2160534 (640x480).jpg
closer look at the arete, ledges and rock bands

we doned harnesses and helmets, geared up and split into 3 teams of 2. harry and jo, jim and billy and me and jules. helen opted to just saunter up to the summit via the normal path. it soon became apparent that it it wasn't really as cold as forecast and more important the turf wasn't frozen ! billy lead of the first picth, torquing his axes in a crack in the rock, i made hard work of a few snowy ledges to his right. it was hard going trying to find placements for axes and feet in the not so frozen turf. with 3 teams climbing it was getting rather crowded at the belays, but the craic was good, we all took different lines up little steps and gullies.
P2160536 (640x480).jpg
jim, from my bucket seat belay

P2160537 (640x480).jpg
jules coming up

P2160538 (640x480).jpg
jim heading up, billy belaying him

we were hoping the higher we went the more consolidated the snow would be or the turf more frozen, but it wasn't to be. we had a laugh when jim dislodged a 2ft x 2tf 2in block of snow down on jules, just as he was prepared to make a little awkward move, i soon stopped when unsighted by the snow he thudded his pick into the snow inches from my foot !
we came over a ledge and gained the terrace that indicated the end of the climb.
P2160540 (640x480).jpg
jules coming over final lip

from this terrace we had intended going up another route, january butress to the summit, but conditions wernt good and we didnt want to damage the turf. we instead traversed left into a gully that led right of the summit. it was here that young jo who is new to the club, was elected to break the trail up the slope.
P2160541 (640x480).jpg
jo breaking trail

while we had a laugh assessing his trail breaking skills and fitness.
P2160542 (640x480).jpg

the higher we got the snow started to firm up, the gully steepened towards a small cornice, nice.
P2160543 (640x480).jpg
approaching the cornice

the usual banter was coming from behind jo on which way to attack the cornice, jo elected to trend right.
P2160544 (640x480).jpg
jo about to break through his first cornice

i headed straight up and had a bit of fun breaking over the cornice.
P2160545 (640x480).jpg
billy topping out

P2160546 (640x480).jpg
harry climbed the gully with poles !

P2160548 (640x480).jpg
jules topping out
]from here it was a short walk northwards up a slope to the summit.
P2160551 (640x480).jpg
final slope to summit

P2160553 (640x480).jpg
boys coming up slope, cobbler behind

we had the usual summit picture, didnt hang about as a little snow squall came in. met helen back at the car. although the climbing wasnt what we had hoped for, the craic more than made up for it.
P2160554 (640x480).jpg
summit pic

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Re: the brack via igles clark arete

Postby Johnny Corbett » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:22 pm

Good stuff Michael, Sundays been the best day we've had for a while. :D
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Johnny Corbett
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Re: the brack via igles clark arete

Postby mgmt! » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:23 pm

cheers johhny, yes been itching to get out, need to let me no your plans for completion, if i can help you out with any let me no.
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Re: the brack via igles clark arete

Postby scoob999 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:58 pm

Liking the look of this route, just moved it higher up the hit list :D

Looks like you all had a great time 8)
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Re: the brack via igles clark arete

Postby RiverSong » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:30 pm

Really nice report Michael and seems like a lot of fun :D

Are there any mountains left you haven't climbed/scaled/traversed or have you done them all now :think:
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Re: the brack via igles clark arete

Postby mgmt! » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:48 pm

cheers scoob999, dont no your winter experience, both the igles clark arete and january buttress are grade 3 winter climbs so ropes etc would be needed. the gully we eventually traversed into can be gained round the left on first picture. it would run at grade 1 , as with anything in winter be careful.

thanks morag, there is loads left that ive not done, only just dipped my toe in the water so to say.
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