Monday, 31 December 2007

Ben MacDui

Today Clare, Trevor and I walked around Coire an Lochain, up the ridge and navigated our way over to Ben MacDui. It was very misty and damp but there was quite good snow cover which made the walking quite easy going and we met several skiers and snowboarders at the summit.

We cut back across the plateau and walked round the top of Coire an t-Sneachda and by this time, the cloud had lifted a little and we got some views!

Happy Hogmanay!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Cairngorm views

Ian and Gareth went for a walk around the Northern Corries and took some great pictures of Coire an Lochain. They saw many climbers both in Sneachda and Lochain so all in all, Cairngorm was a busy place today.

Sunshine and blue skies

Clare, Trevor and I had great fun practising winter skills today. The snow was perfect for cramponing though we found that the hard ice hiding under the top layer of fresh snow gave for very fast sliding for ice axe breaking!
We walked up to the summit of Cairngorm amidst the crowds then walked around the plateau enjoying the fantastic views.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Here are a couple of photos from Christmas Day when I was out climbing on Crotched Gully in Coire an t-Sneachda. Santa and Chilly, the snowman hitched a lift in the rucksacks so they could enjoy the views on the plateau!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Ventilator and more! - Friday 21st December

We went into Coire an Lochain on Friday as it seemed to be the last reliably good weather day! Sunshine and blue skies again and fun shadow folk to be seen at the top of the Vent!
Ron and I climbed Ventilator which was rocky lower down but had a lovely snow arete at the top right hand-side of the Vent's exit. We walked across the plateau and down the Goat Track to have a look at the routes in Coire an t-Sneachda where we found some thick ice which gave a fun short climb. After we wandered around a bit further and as there was still lots of daylight left, we finished off the day by soloing up Central Gully and walking back down by the light of the almost full moon.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

The Runnel

It was quite a contrast to leave temperatures of -11c in Aviemore and find that it was only -1c at the Coire Cas park - quite balmy!
We went into Coire an t-Sneachda and picked out the Runnel for our route. Ron romped up the snow and I followed until we reached the belay below the steep bit! Another team, Liam and Neil, were beginning to climb the last pitch so I climbed up the little groove to the right which was a wee bit thin on the good neve we had found lower down though it did have some thin slivers of ice and it was perhaps lacking in good gear placements so nicely tricky.
We topped out into the sun, had a wander over to Hell's Lum to search for ice then back to Coire Domhain for a quick look at an igloo before walking back around Coire an Lochain.
For a more detailed conditions report have a look at the Talisman Mountain Diary and WinterNet where there are more details.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Winter skills and a walk to the summit of Cairngorm

Today was lovely on Cairngorm and we were very sheltered in Coire Cas only founding it a bit breezy when we reached the plateau. The snow was frozen and amazingly hard so great for crampon practice but not so nice for ice axe breaking! We enjoyed a leisurely wander up to the summit of Cairngorm enjoying the views over Loch Avon and the cloud pouring over the lower hills to the south. Very atmospheric.
Pictures of Coire an t-Sneachda above.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Cairngorms climbing

Blue skies and sunshine so I was climbing today with Ron on the Mess of Pottage in Coire an t-Sneachda. We chose to climb The Hybrid (IV,5), a mix of pitches from The Message and Melting Pot. The route has corners, slabs and today it also had a plenty of unconsolidated snow which meant a lot of brushing to clear cracks for gear and to find them again to remove them!