/ Surgeons Gully???

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Gavin McColl 14 Nov 2019

Hi all,

Does anyone know if Surgeons Gully has actually been fully climbed in either summer or winter?? 

The Ben Nevis guidebook assumes thay it has not and 2 UKC threads also lead to this assumption...

Any books or links with more updated info would be great

Cheers 

Fruitbat 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Gavin McColl:

I've no direct knowledge but would suggest giving Heavy a shout via his blog https://heavywhalley.wordpress.com/ he's bound to have some info about the gully and will know who to ask about ascents.

Gavin McColl 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Fruitbat:

Thanks for the advice!... Although I can't find an option to contact Heavy on his blog page?

Does he have any other means of contact?

Cheers

Fruitbat 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Gavin McColl:

He used to have details on his website but it now says contact him via his blog so I'd just reply/comment on his latest blog post asking him to contact you. He's also on Twitter and Instagram and the like so they may be better...

Gavin McColl 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Fruitbat:

Ok I'll try get him on insta, thanks again!

finc00 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Gavin McColl:

According to my 1994 copy of the Ben Nevis SMC guide Surgeons was climbed in 1947 and given VS. However it does stop describing the "pitches" when the gully splits into 3 near the top.

Webster 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Gavin McColl:

what do you mean by fully? its in the cicerone winter guidebook, presumably with a first ascentionist listed, but i dont have my copy to hand so cant check

Cog 14 Nov 2019
drunken monkey 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Cog:

That thread is a belter. Good old Norrie (RIP)

Deadeye 14 Nov 2019
In reply to Gavin McColl:

It's been done.  Probably several times.  Including by my dad!

1
TobyA 15 Nov 2019
In reply to Deadeye:

Didn't it get done perhaps in the last decade when there was one of those proper cold snaps and everything was freezing? I'm sure I remember reading on here that it was, while Steall Falls were super busy with loads of climbers. It might have been Christmas 2010, because I think that  was when I did Cautley Spout in the Howgills. I still lived in Finland then and had come over for Xmas with my family, and it was colder and snowier landing in Manchester than it was leaving Helsinki. 

Merlin 18 Nov 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I’m sure there’s some footage somewhere of Dave McLeods attempt a few years ago 09/10 or 10/11 season. From recollection, they bailed after running out of time/weather.

Davy Gunn 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Gavin McColl:

An Edinburgh team including Dave Bathgate has climbed it in summer in its entirety if I remember correctly with a chat with Dave a few years ago. I am also pretty sure the redoubtable Mick Tigh will done it in winter as he did others around their.  A lot of gullies like Dalness had summer/winter ascents but were seen as a bit esoteric as more a journey into a lush world of greenery and loose or greasy rock and very hard to grade objectively other than f*cking desperate. Self same gullies would get winter ascents after massive cross loading filling in most of the main summer pitches. As an example I have walked up the BEM chasm back when we had winters and the Devils Cauldron was about 30 ft. Ascents such as Clachaig gully by MacInness in leaner conditions were much harder undertakings on verglass and sketchy conditions.

Rick Graham 22 Nov 2019
In reply to Davy Gunn:

> An Edinburgh team including Dave Bathgate has climbed it in summer in its entirety if I remember correctly with a chat with Dave a few years ago. I am also pretty sure the redoubtable Mick Tigh will done it in winter as he did others around their. 

IIRC the consensus in previous UKC threads on this subject ( also after a bit of personal  trawling smc journals and a few emails with simon richardson), is.

There are three branches of the gully above the traverse path at c 600m asl.

The only claims on UKC and the smc are the left hand gully at scramble grade 2 in summer and a winter ascent of the complete gully finishing by the central branch .

The central branch finish has a steep section which Mick tighe stopped below according to the smc guide .

The legend that is Gordon smith soloed the complete gully presumably by the central branch around 1978 in exceptional conditions .

Good if Dave Bathgate could post his ascent.

Post edited at 16:56

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