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John Workman:
Thursday 10th March 2016 â?? six thirty a.m.
The moon is in itâ??s seventh heaven, Venus is on the horizon, Pisces is in the ascendancy [Iâ??ve just had my 69th birthday five days ago] and Gemini, John MacLeodâ??s birth sign so he tells me, is beckoning. It might even be the dawning of the age of Aquarius for all I know and care â?? [thatâ??s one for the rest of you aging hippies].

So we climbed Gemini in six long pitches â?? on a blue-sky, windless and cool Ben day. We swung the leads. When I say swung, I mean, I swung it so that John got the three hard pitches and I got the three in between.

And so what were the tech 6 pitches like? Well the two main ice pitches do look rather steep, sustained and daunting but John made short work of them. And as for me, on the blunt end, well they were a bit like a rope length on the main part of the ice wall at the Ice Factor â?? steep but not too bad. But of course instead of being enclosed in an old factory we were suspended from that magnificent sector of the Carn Dearg buttress.

We were first on the route â?? and I thought initially that there was just going to be the four of us [get it?] but a couple of others joined us as John led the first pitch. This didnâ??t detract at all from one of the really great Ben days.

We topped out at about two thirty and made our way down the deep snow of Ledge Route and then once more back to civilisation. Well when I say civilisation I mean Fort William.

Photos attached  - mostly taken by me using Johnâ??s  camera but the last two are taken by John. Iâ??m not sure what heâ??s trying to say in his final shot? Iâ??m just hoping that our next route wonâ??t involve a trip to Brokeback Mountain?

OK. Iâ??m aware that this is mostly unforgivable bragging by me but thatâ??s just the kind of bloke I am.
So youâ??ve read the guff. Now click the link and sit back and enjoy the slideshow. Click on the full screen option on the first slide for the full Gemini experience

John W.

geoff h:
Great story & i'm really happy for you both, bless!


John Workman:

I guess that you are replying under the category as mentioned in the first sentence above?

In which case I can reply -

Om Mani Padme Om


Well done, we had a great view of Gemini when Matt and I did Waterfall Gully a couple of weeks ago. I was stood at the bottom of that first pitch wondering if my arms would get me up it, obviously I thought not. It is quite an intimidating start and I remember the mixed pitches above the ice wall being quite hard with not a lot of gear and I was quite happy to be on the blunt end. Nice pics too.
Tony B

Good stuff!


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