New VIII on the Ben by Parnell and Metherell

by Tom Briggs Sioux Wall On the 1 January Oliver Metherell and Ian Parnell made the first winter ascent of Sioux Wall on Ben Nevis. Parnell and Metherell swung leads for four pitches with Parnell successfully on-sight flashing the crux and Metherell taking one fall on pitch three. Parnell led off into the night for the final pitch. A grade of VIII, 8 was thought appropriate for the long and sustained crux pitch. The wall was first climbed by G. Grassam and Ian Nicholson in 1972 and was graded at HVS. The winter route takes a variation on the summer route and follows the line of a continuous steep crack for almost the entire length of the buttress. Metherell and Parnell also repeated the Davison / Nisbet route Digeridoo (VII,6) at Braeriach. Coire na Ciste is a superb mixed climbing venue that already contains one of the bestcollections of mixed climbs in Europe including Archangel, South Sea Bubble and Darth Vader.