Abseiling four days on the trot isn’t normal. Infact I often avoid abseiling as it takes considerable time and can be pretty stressful if doing so in adverse conditions. Today was Marie and Marks final day so I thought we would go somewhere neither of them had been; Stob Coire nan Lochan. It happens to be one of my favourite winter venues so I was excited to show them what all the fuss was about. Rich was along for the day to observe and advise, which I am really keen on as we as Instructors often work in isolation and get very little professional feedback.
After the traditional slog up into the coire it was very apparent there was much more snow than anticipated. The slopes upto Raeburns were breaking away in substantial slabs so we switched plans and took a line towards Dorsal Arête. Feeling slightly uneasy as more layers and slabs broke away we turned on our heels for plan C – an(other) abseil into Pinnacle Buttress.
I hadnt climbed on this subsidiary crag before so we found a good anchor and abseiled down an icy groove, I didnt know what it was but it looked fun and safe avoiding any loaded slopes. We climbed back out in two pitches and later found out it was Pinnacle Buttress Groove (III), a nice route with a short icy crux.