American climbers Josh Wharton, Steve House and Mikey Schaefer visited Scotland at the start of January.
Canadians Paul Bride, Marc-Andre Leclerc, Ian Welsted, Paul McSorley, Jon Walsh and Michelle Kadatz are currently on their way to Scotland for a few weeks of climbing.
The Americans climbed a number of test-piece routes and as the website Scottish Winter put it, “They notched up one of the most impressive collections of high standard routes ever seen from an overseas team.”
On Jan. 2, local crusher Simon Yearsly picked Wharton and Schaefer up from the Edinburgh airport and they were off. House soon joined them and the quickly climbed eight hard routes.
In Wharton’s trip report on the site, he noted that on Jan. 3, they climbed Fallout Corner VI 7, which he graded M5. The following day, they climbed in a Patagonia-like storm up Daddy Longlegs VIII 9, which he graded M6+.
After a rest day and meeting House, they headed to Ben Nevis. From the CIC Hut, they sent Knucklebuster VIII 9, which he graded M7. On Jan. 7, they climbed The Secret VIII 9 to Darth Vader VIII 7.
Back at the Northern Corries, they climbed Ventricle VIII 8, of which Wharton wrote ” Despite the grade, this pitch seemed like one of the trickiest of the trip. I’d say proper M7R. I climbed the second pitch to the right of the slot via mostly ‘hero’ hooking in heavy rime. Good times, but a surprisingly long day.”
On their final day, they finished with Citadel VII 8 and Magic Crack VII 7, before try The Hurting XI 11 on a fixed rope.