Solitude on Hell’s Lum
Sunday 5th 2014
After a busy day in Coire an t-Sneachda we decided to head over to Hell’s Lum for a bit of solitude, it’s not much further then Coire an t-Sneachda, maybe 30 minutes, but it feels a lot more remote and is a more serious undertaking. We decided on climbing Hell’s Lum one of the classics climbs on Hell’s Lum, very confusing. Anyway, the weather was supposed to turn bad in the afternoon so we opted for an early start, we followed several teams into Coire an t-Sneachda then left them behind, made our way up the goat track and over to Hell’s Lum. After the steep decent we made our way around the base of the crag until at the base of the climb. We built our belay at the foot of the climb and tentatively started to make our way up. We were initially unsure of conditions higher on the climb, it looked like there may have been too much snow higher up but after a few meters it was possible to see up the chimney and see that it was doable. A straight forward bit of climbing followed by the first steepening of ice, with really solid placements it was a joy to climb. A bit further on and with some serious excavation I built a belay, Simon followed on and lead the next pitch, after negotiating some steep sections he pushed on to the top of the climb. By now the weather had turned bad and there was no visibility, so we had to navigate our way back to the goat track, on the way we stumbled across a couple of snow holes so stopped for a bite to eat out of the bad weather and after a cup of coffee started to make our way back to the car park. This was a real adventure day, great climbing, great fun but as always you need to make sure you can find your way back from these remote areas when the weather turns bad and you can’t see a metre in front of your face.
Monday 6th 2014
The weather turned bad again today so we where unable to make it out on to the hill, but we did eat a lot and drink an inordinate amount of tea.
Tuesday 7th 2014
Today we met up with Dave and Max some fellow instructors and had a day out on the hill working through some new thinking on best practice for teaching winter skills, it was also a chance to catch up and chat about the summer and any plans for the winter. We worked through a few new snow anchor techniques but the weather was starting to turn bad so we decided to head down early and make our way west for some climbing on Ben Nevis.