I always had Bidean nam Bian down as a quiet crag with less interest than the more popular Stob Coire nan Lochan due to a slightly longer walk in. Today however, five teams converged on the crag; Ken and Hannah climbed Flake Route, Mike and his team followed myself and Dot up West Chimney and two other very strong teams were battling with new routes a little higher up the crag.
West Chimney was superb, really nice climbing on secure hooks and some excellent snow ice in places. The crux is now on the second pitch where the original route under a lodged boulder is now blocked with rock fall. You can climb direct giving a stiff but short section of tech 6 climbing. There has been talk of tech 7 for this pitch but although it is steep requiring some big moves it is over very quickly. We thought V,6 overall and certainly warrants all of its stars!
New routes were being climbed up and right of West Chimney, both looked very exciting. I look forward to reading about the news when it emerges……..