Lemon Mountains, first ascents and new routes. The increasingly popular Lemon Mountains were visited by a 10-member Scottish expedition comprising Alison Callum, Iain Hall, Andy Lole, Brian Moretta, Phil Reynolds, John Sanders, Andy Saxby, Claire and Graham Stein, and Jago Trasler. The team planned to climb new peaks and routes around the Hedgehog Glacier but due to poor conditions was forced to land 35km from its intended site and spend two days hauling gear on pulks (four days on return due to the 1,000m of height gain) to an eventual base camp on the Hedgehog. Despite poor snow conditions due to very warm weather, creating avalanche conditions that failed to drop below a level 4 throughout the trip, nine new routes, some on previously unvisited peaks, were climbed in the area between the Courtauld and Lucy Glaciers. These included: the Acolyte to 2,100m (N68 38, W31 35) at PD/Scottish III (Hall- Sanders, June 16-17); the east ridge of the Mitre to 2,010m (Saxby-Trasler, June 23-24, eight pitches of rock climbing to British 4b); the Cornet (1,191m, Callum-Hall-Moretta-Reynolds, ca June 24); south east ridge of the Bishop to 2,200m (Lole-G. Stein, June 23-24, 14 pitches of rock to British 5b with one point of aid); the Reverend to 2,235m at PD (Hall-Moretta-Sanders- Reynolds, June 30-July 1); two new peaks of 2,087m (N68 40, W31 33) and 1,951m (N68 40, W31 32) by Hall, Moretta, and Reynolds around July 2; the south ridge of the Altar (Lole-G. Stein, 300m of moving together and two pitches of British 4a); first ascent of the Matron (N68 32, W31 44) to 1,461 (Moretta-Reynolds, mixed climbing at PD). Expedition members also made nine additional attempts at other routes but were unsuccessful. There then followed a last minute, all-out push to reach their rendezvous point with the aircraft at the pre-arranged time. Despite just making it, sod’s law meant that the aircraft’s arrival was suitably delayed by bad weather.
Lindsay Griffin, High Mountain INFO