5th February, 2007 – Siamese Butress (III), Aonach Mor

Back to Aonach Mor for another climb with promising clear skies and good visibility for the first half of the day. We continued further round the crag this time opting for a route called Siamese Butress which has the option of an easy or slightly harder start.
After attempting the easier start, Andy gave up on the very thin ice at its base and opted instead for the trickier start whilst I watched on nervously. Andy was soon out of site round a bulge of rock with just the occassional scrape of crampons on rock and pull on the ropes to convince me was still moving upwards. I’m not sure how he had managed to get up the first section as I was pretty uncomfortable even with the security of a rope above me and once alongside he managed to persuade me to lead the next section which I did for about three pieces of protection before I lost my nerve and came back down. Like the day before, more time was wasted switching ends before Andy quickly lead up to our next belay. Again I was persuaded to lead on and finish the route on the summit slope where no protection is possible and again I begun then soon retreated to commence swapping ends again.

It is a complete head game – being that run out above a cliff face and I am not sure I will get ever used to that.

Andy made easy work of it and on a couple of occassions at the cornice turned to smile at me which at the time I wondered if it was to do with him seeing something difficult to come but he was just enjoying himself. Thankfully there was nobody else on the gully line beside us as we finished as I knocked off a large lump of snow, something that had I been leading at the time would have been scary as hell.


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