Kiwi Steve seconding round the big flake on pitch 1 of The Genie
And this is how I found myself, running the first two pitches of The Genie (V,7***) together, as wind-driven snow swirled across the crag and the clouds repeatedly opened and closed, teasing us with views of Loch Morlich and Aviemore beyond. All was going well, I'd managed to keep things together on the first tricky section and had somehow clawed my way up the cracked slab and round the big flake. Just a thin slabby left-facing corner barred my way to the belay above. After a bit of snow-clearance I found good hooks and torques up the crack in the corner, clipped the in-situ runners and teetered up the slab, mono-points balancing on small dishes, moving my tools up one by one. Eventually the crack widened, giving up rattly hooks and tenuous torques and my left crampon started to skitter and skate off the rounded lump I was trying to paste it to. Then, my foot was off, I was off balance and pop, out came the tool and down I went. Balls. Next go I got above my previous high point and was just trying to mantle the slab above the corner, one knee on, one foot trying to smear on not a lot, one tool trying to torque and one tool hooking a flat edge. 'Oh, for some neve' I thaught as once again, pop, I was hurtling down the slab again. Abashed, I decided to belay where I was and let Steve dispatch the crux. Which he did, with expected aplomb.