(Jacob Rumans) #1

8 may–jun 2020

The Canadians have traditionally
sent strong climbers to the meet and this
year was no exception. On the second
day, Maarten van Haaren and Andy
Inglis (UK) climbed a new route on
Minus Two Buttress on Ben Nevis.
Calculus (VIII,8) takes a line directly
through the overhangs that girdle the
buttress at one-third height. Andy led
the Grade VI entry pitch up icy grooves
and Maarten pulled out the stops with a
superb lead up a stepped corner through
the overhang on tenuous hooks. Easier
ground shared with Central Route led
to the crest of North East Buttress.
Two days later on Ben Nevis, the
strong Canadian run continued when
Peter Hoang and Neil Adams made an
ascent of The Shroud (VI,6) followed by
Mega Route X (VI,6). The Shroud had not
touched down and was a hanging ice
fang. Peter used his extensive Canadian
icefall experience to judge that this
potentially very risky ascent was in safe
condition. Even so, he rated the climb at

WI6/WI6+ on the Canadian scale and
commented that he had never climbed
an icicle that did not hang vertically
before – it had been blown sideways
by the wind.
Hoang was also involved in the final
highlight of the week – a visit to Garbh
Bheinn in Ardgour – where he made the
first winter ascent of Gralloch (IX,10) with
Neil Adams and Lukas Klingora (Czech
Republic). The South Wall is very rarely
in winter condition and Tim Miller, Callum
Johnson and Damian Granowski (Poland)
were also in place to make the first
winter ascent of Scimitar (VII,8). Other
new routes climbed during the week
were Ephemeron Buttress (IV,5) to the left
of Ephemeron Gully on Buachaille Etive
Mor, Superwoman (V,6) on the east flank
of Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis and Cabin
Fever (IV,6) on the previously unclimbed
Stac Buidhe in the Monadhliadh.
Unlike previous events that were held
at Glenmore Lodge climbers rotated
between three huts – Raeburn/Mill

Cottage on the north side of the
Cairngorms, Lagangarbh in Glen Coe
and the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis. Although
climbing conditions were good, the
weather was often wild and windy
and the avalanche danger ramped up
through the week. This caused Meet
Co-ordinators, Al Todd and I, ever
increasing concern as the meet
progressed, but everyone returned safe
and sound for a celebration in Aviemore
on the final night. The meet had been
a huge success. Great routes had been
climbed, ideas shared, friendships made
and new partnerships formed. Our
international guests had been given
a magnificent taste of Scottish winter
climbing and left next morning with
huge smiles on their faces.
The 2020 International Winter Meet

  • Streap Alba Geamhradh – was hosted by
    Mountaineering Scotland and supported
    by the Scottish Mountaineering Club,
    The Alpine Club, British Mountaineering
    Council and Salewa. n


Tom Phillips (Netherlands)
and Murray Cutforth climbing
Minus One Gully (VI,6) on Ben
Nevis. Photo: Hamish Frost

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