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New Bold Scottish Mixed Route is New Age Raiders IX 9

Scotland's mixed season was slow to start but is now game on with a number of bold new climbs

Greg Boswell and Callum Johnson have made the first ascent of New Age Raiders IX 9 on the Church Buttress at Bidean nam Bian in Scotland. Top climber Boswell, 29, who’s spent a significat amount of time in Canada, had been wanting to climb New Age Raiders for the past 10 years.

While the winter season in Canada’s mountain started nearly three months ago, it was a slower start in Scotland with significant ascents only being climbed mixed-style in the past few weeks. A number of new routes have been climbed in December.

Callum Johnson and Tim Miller made the FA of The Flying Fox VIII 8 and Never Never Land VIII 8 on An Teallach, Beinn Eighe. And seasoned vets Dave MacLeod and Iain Small established Nevermore VIII 8 on Ben Nevis.

About the new route, Boswell said, “New routing on ground this steep makes it super strenuous to figure out the right path and find usable placements. After a bit of hanging around and ups and downs, I finally committed and found a way. Such an awesome day and a cool new two pitch route that packs a punch.”

Bidean nam Bian is Glen Coe’s most remote crag, so few climbers make the trip, but the climbing is world-class.

Scottish Winter

Simon Richardson’s Scottish Winter site is the go-to spot for all updates during the cold season. Be sure to visit here and follow on Instagram. Below is an excerpt about a new route posted on Dec. 11.

Tim Miller and Jamie Skelton notched up the first new Grade IX of the season when they made the first complete ascent of Metamorphosis on Ben Nevis. This sustained summer E2 was first climbed in winter by Iain Small and Gareth Hughes in March 2009 and graded VIII 9.

They took the natural winter start up the deep crack of Cranium (an E1 alternative start to Heidanger) before moving right to join Metamorphosis after its first summer pitch. Climbed on sight, this was an inspirational lead by Iain Small, and years ahead of its time. Tim and Jamie thought the route was unclimbed in winter when they set off from the valley early on December 7.