Ben Esoteria

On March 10, 2013 by Tim Neill

Keith and I faltered on Friday due to the hurricane that was blowing in the morning. A day of rest, coffee, reading etc wasn’t such a bad thing. Unfortunately, Saturday arrived and the wind was still giving it some….

We hiked up to the CIC hut in some fairly hefty gusts. We’d already gone from Plan A to somewhere halfway down the alphabet by now. The shambles of people sheltering by the hut didn’t help the process either. We could see a few folk below the Minus Face who didn’t appear to be crawling….unlike everyone else. Coire na Ciste looked like the retreat from Stalingrad!

We headed up onto the Orion Face and finished via a relatively new route called Space Invaders. Getting rave reviews in the Perroux guidebook it turned out to be excellent, steep in places but with a few good runners and belays. It was totally sheltered, and we shared the face with two lads from Glasgow bombing up Orion with the Direct start. Another great day on the big face!

We finished with a quick climb on No3 Gully buttress called Winter Chimney….made infamous in the film “Onsight”. It was in great icy condition and although just one big pitch, had excellent technical ice climbing at the grade. Then headed back down the glen for maybe the last time this winter….maybe.


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