On 31stJanuary Dave Macleod established a new winter testpiece on the west face of Druim Shionnach in Glen Shiel.
Un-named as yet Macleod’s [Update: Dave has called it Castle in the Sky] new line follows an extremely technical sequence including figure of fours along a thin crack/weakness across a 6 meter roof, accessed by 15 meters of grade VII and with further thin climbing above the lip. Initially he had been attempting another parallel line but unfortunately ripped out a crucial chockstone. Returning alone Macleod then aided across his new line to check its feasibility discovering only poor protection including pegs that might only hold bodyweight (he feels the aid line might be A4).
On Tuesday Macleod returned with Ruth Taylor and Andy Turner to efficiently dispatch the first ascent. Grade wise he hasn’t suggested a Scottish grade yet, but with the technical difficulties estimated as M10+/M11 and the serious nature of the climbing Macleod feels this new line is a grade harder than his previously graded XI,11 testpiece Don’t Die of Ignorance and comparable with Anubis, his Ben Nevis tour de force which winter climbed an E8.
Dave’s own report is on his blog and further photos will be in Climb 86.