The Highlands are experiencing some unusual weather at the moment. Very strong winds accompanied by a temperature inversion coupled with a significant lack of snow for this time of year means some crags are becoming black and stripped back to rock. Some that are slightly out of the worst of the winds are holding out well so it wasn’t without lots of thought we decided to risk the lower but (hopefully) colder Bridge of Orchy hills today. It was soon clear as we drove south at dawn we were going to be in for a good days climbing. Hannah joined Duncan and I as we planned on climbing the classic; Messiah (VII,7) which was to be Hannah’s first tech 7 – not that you would have noticed as she cruised her way up the route! The line looked to be in good condition, enough snow and frozen turf and plenty of ice on the upper pitches. The only downside was that the hand traverse was fully iced up, so it was an axe traverse instead and the upper pitch although looked quite good was slushy and delicate. Probably how the route holds its grade to be honest. It wont be there tomorrow unfortunately as we climbed out the top pitch everything was melting……

Messiah Messiah 1

Hannah leading us to the big corner of P1

Hannah leading us to the big corner of P1

Setting off on P1 Messiah

Setting off on P1 Messiah

Considering an icy 'hand traverse'

Considering an icy ‘hand traverse’

Hannah on her way.....

Hannah on her way…..

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Duncan enjoying P1

Duncan enjoying P1

Belay banter.....

Belay banter…..

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Duncan setting off linking P2&3 together

Duncan setting off linking P2&3 together

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Styling it on slushy ice!

Styling it on slushy ice!

Looking down P3

Looking down P3

Happy days!

Happy days!