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James Roddie Solos Scottish Chimney

Hidden Chimney, III, on Coire an-t Sneachda, Scotland

James Roddie took advantage of conditions. “Last night’s frost felt like a god-send – the sheer amount of snow lying in some of the corries is pretty impressive for the time of year, but it was in real need of a freeze to make it more stable. This morning was my opportunity but I only had a few hours as I needed to be back home for midday – so I headed straight towards the classic Hidden Chimney.”

Coire an-t Sneachda translates to Corrie of the Snow, which is popular with climbers. “The route is barely recognizable from its usual leaner self, heavily banked out in the lower section with most of the rocky steps buried. I found a mix of great nevé and useless crud but I made quick progress up to the chockstone, which was almost hidden by a bulge of snow,” says Roddie, “I couldn’t find any hooks for my axes around the chockstone but thankfully there was some really firm snow above so a wide bridging move and solid axe placements had me above the crux and into the battering wind of the top-out.”

Hidden Chimney, III, climbs the weakness, right of centre
Hidden Chimney, III
Hidden Chimney, III, exits on the right.

Sourch: Glencoe Mountaineer