I usually manage a climbing trip to some far flung destination every year but this year looks a little different. I have so many places I still want to get to in Scotland and with the vote on independence this month (yesterday!) I decided to stay at home. First up was the Loch A’an basin in the Cairngorms. If you have never seen this side of the cairngorms scroll down to the last couple of pictures and I’m sure it will entice. For me I really wanted to get some routes done on the shelterstone and managed to convince Adam into walking in at night to go for “The Needle” the next day. Before the needle (and before Adam got up) I nipped up Afterthought arete and we headed back to Stag rocks in the evening to climb “Monarch of the Glen”. The day after we climbed “Prince of Darkness” on Hells Lum – Same grade as the Needle but a fair bit harder in my opinion!
Adam starting up the first pitch of the needle. This route was first climbed by one of my all time heros Robin Smith – Hard to picture him leading this stuff in 1960!
Adam enjoying another exposed pitch with Hells Lum crag in the background.Midgies! Enough to ruin any climbing day but thankfully only in our camp for a wee while at dawn and dusk.
My wee yellow tent below the Sheltersone crag. Just like Yosemite really!
Looking down the wonderfull Loch A’an at dawn.
Carn Etchacan, Shelterstone and Hells Lum from the head of Loch A’an
The trouble with climbing (or maybe its the best thing about it!) is that once you do the route you want to do you see another couple that look just as good or better. I could spend a fortnight camped in the same place and climb every day, especially if I get to wake up to this view every morning!