UPDATE July 2015: Ken and Hannah are now running Scottish walking, mountaineering and climbing courses for West Coast Mountain Guides.
After a couple of days of essential admin catch-up, I was back out today, with Nick, who was keen for an adventure. I was too, so decided that we should stick our noses in the Cold Climbs tick Deep Cut Chimney on Stob Coire Nam Beith, in Glencoe. And an adventure it was!
The day started quite mild, with a thin layer of cloud keeping the moisture in, which had clearly affected the top layer of snow overnight, but soon cleared to give us stunning panoramas of the surround hills. The route was in good condition, and the crucial icing on the left branch after the initial two pitches was perfect. A further interesting mixed pitch put us onto the snow slopes of Central Gully for a while, before arriving on a huge ledge overlooking the left fork of NW Gully. From here, there was an obvious pitch of 40m or so of quality grade IV ice leading from the gully to easier ground above, so we climbed that too, and it turned out to be one of the best pitches of the day.
From the top of this bonus pitch, we still had a fair bit of easier ground to climb before finally arriving on the summit of Stob Coire Nam Beith, 450m from where we first started climbing. We made quick work of the descent from Bealach An t-Sron, and were back at the car at a very respectable 4pm.