My friend Rich was making a 24 hour flying visit and wanted to get some climbing done. We had grand plans for Ardverikie Wall at Binnein Shuas on Friday afternoon/evening but the weather decided it was not to be.
After doing the chores on Saturday whilst Jen was out having afternoon tea, the weather still wasn’t looking great but we decided we’d chance a trip to Polldubh. I took my scrambling guide so we had a wet weather option, fortunately the weather gods where smiling on us as we headed up the glen.
We headed more or less straight up to the small but appealing SW buttress at the head of “The Alp” as I already had my first route in mind and knew the buttress would be quick drying. Tear (HS 4b **) is a nice but a little short crack up a slabby face. Good job it’s quick drying as it started raining as I got to the crux. By the time Rich got up the sun was back out, we headed straight back down for the next route. Rich headed straight up Scratch (VS 4c *), a slab on thin cracks leading to a wider crack for the second half of the route. Whilst belaying I was entranced by a HVS 5b crack slanting right across the buttress. I almost had myself convinced that it would be my next route but I had a closer look when I was seconding up after Rich and got a bit scared. From the top of SW Buttress it is all of 10 meters to the bottom of Pine Wall Crag, I knew there was a longer Hard Severe on there that might interest Rich, he’s only used to short Yorkshire gritstone crags so it’d make a nice change.
After a false start that involved me heading up completely the wrong route, we checked the guide book and started again. The route was really nice, exposed slab climbing on perfect rock, one definitely to be repeated soon. And that was it for us, Rich had a drive down to yorkshire ahead of him and I had the old Highland Hostel to run.