Eilde Canyon, Glencoe
Today Mark and myself headed for the low down and easily reached Eilde canyon at the base of Sron na Lairig. We were glad of the small, compacted snow track in which made the going easier. We entered the canyon via a short easy gully and then walked up the base to pick our route.
The canyon is narrow and short so it is easy to move around and pick which single pitch ice climb you want to do, with options of descent back into the canyon.
We opted for El Mixi which looked in reasonable condition, which turned out to be not quite true. Most other routes were buried and the steeper lines looked a bit brittle or dripping. This turned out to be both.
With good ice for the first 5 meters getting 2 good ice screws in, the mixed middle section turned out to be cruddy ice followed by unfrozen turf and near vertical powder on the top section.
Luckily i got a 10cm ice screw in 7cm into the ice before questing up. The top half then became vertical wading, cutting through the powder to the ground, getting an average placement for the axe and what hadn’t drifted down, i tried to step on to gain a few inches of upward progress. Repeat for next 20m, 10m meters above the ice screw. Focus, calm and considered were the thoughts of that part of the climb.
Then the best bit was finding a pre set ab and belay point at the top. Good atmosphere, the sun was out but we didn’t rush to do a second route.