Nick Bullock reports that he has climbed his best route so far this winter… by mistake. In the process, Nick discovered after the event, that himself and Tim Neill had added two new pitches as a direct on the established climb, Bruised Violet. He rated what he has named as Crème de Violette (IX,9), as in his top five Scottish routes.
Nick and Tim climbed what they thought at the time was Ian Parnell's Bruised Violet on Beinn Eighe, finding it harder than expected for its grade VIII/8. Topping out pleased with their efforts and with expansive Torridon views, Nick felt that: "The route we had just climbed had been one of the most sustained and fulfilling outings ever."
It was only after speaking to Bruised Violet first ascentionist Ian Parnell, and lots of studying route descriptions, that Nick realised they'd climbed two new pitches. All thanks to Nick's "inability to follow a description" or as Tim would like the headline to read "alpinist follows strong line in off-route/ new routing shocker."
The new climbing was described as: "…two new long and quite serious pitches. Super sustained, burly and on occasion, rather emotional!" You can find more details of Crème de Violette (IX,9) on the West Central Wall of Beinn Eighe on Nick's blog. Tim Neill also has a description of the day on his blog, before he realised what they had done.
Ian Parnell and Andy Turner climbed Bruised Violet (VIII 8) in March 2009 with Ian describing it as: "A phenomenal direct line through the very steep ground Chop Suey avoids. Very sustained climbing at the top of the grade." You can see some more first ascent photos of Bruised Violet in another post of Ian's.
Thanks to Tim Neill for the photos.