Friday, 28 March 2008

Another day out playing in the snow.

The weather was looking rather gloomy as we walked into Coire an t-Sneachda on Thursday but the clouds started to clear. By the time Sue and I reached the top of Jacob's Ladder, the sun had come out and the views across the whole of Cairngorm were fantastic.
What a day!

Haston Line, Yukon Jack and Hidden Chimney

After the Easter Mountaineering course, a rest day was the plan but the weather on Wednesday was just too good to sit around inside!
Ron and I climbed Haston Line on Mess of Pottage then continued up the second pitch of Yukon Jack. Instead of coninuing on to the plateau, we climbed down the Slant for a little bit then up the top pitch of Hidden Chimney.
The pictures show Ron on the first pitch of the Haston Line and below, me climbing Hidden Chimney.
More pictures here and a video clip here

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Fiacaill Ridge and white out conditions

Robert, Ruth and I went scrambling along the Fiacaill Ridge today. There was plenty of snow and on the Coire an Lochain side where we traversed, it was mainly scoured with just the occasional deep drift. The rime on the rocks was almost growing in front of our eyes and it all looked very wintry.

When we reached the plateau, it was to find very poor visibility so lots of navigation practice to get back to Point 1141 and the Coire Cas ridge.
By the time we got down, hair had frozen to hats, hats had frozen to helmets and helmets had frozen to hoods and goggles.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Happy Easter!

I was out today with the Talisman Easter winter skills and mountaineering groups in snowy Coire an t-Sneachda. More photos on Ron's blog here
Also in Sneachda today was the Easter Bunny seen below sheltering from the snow and the spindrift in a cosy snowhole... then time for lunch - easter eggs of course...
and back home to dry out on the heater!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Patey's Route, Coire an t-Sneachda

We walked in to Sneachda today and found it strange to be without the crowds. Our route was to be Patey's on Aladdin's Buttress and the first picture is of me working out how to get up the first little tricky bit.
Ron climbed the next pitch which had an awkward rocky bulge to get over.

Ron lead up a lovely pitch on neve with the crux bit above. He made it look just a little bit challenging. When I reached it, I flapped about trying to get the right placements for my axes that would get me over the difficult bit!

We continued up towards the top of Aladdin's Couloir then descended down the gully which was filled with powdery snow that gave clouds of powdery snow with every footstep, a bit like walking down with fluffy feathers around the feet!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Feeding the ducks!

Not out on the hills today but out feeding ducks at Loch Morlich with my Mum who had come up from Edinburgh for the day.

Saturday, 15 March 2008


Some views into Coire an t-Sneachda from yesterday and today.
James is training to climb Denali and wanted to get some experience of staying out overnight so we shouldered the heavy bags and set off for some digging. After finding the snow and the digging exceedingly hard work in our first choice location, we picked up the bags again and found a more suitable spot to spend the night. After three hours digging we had a comfy space and James was soon preparing supper.
On Saturday we packed up and went for a wander across the plateau and taking the chance to get the most out of carrying stoves about with us, we sat enjoying the views along with a mug of hot soup.

More about James' climbing day with Ron yesterday here

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Fiacaill Ridge, sunshine and snow

After the stormy weather on Monday, Tuesday turned out to be a complete contrast though there was a lot of snow about. Sue and I had great fun scrambling about on the Fiacaill Ridge then walking back round Coire an t-Sneachda looking in awe at the cornices that had formed at the top of some of the gullies.

Sunday at Cairngorm

A good weather day so we went into Coire an t-Sneachda and up the Goat Track to Coire Domhain to dig emergency shelters and to have a look at some basic ropework. The walk back across the plateau gave us some great views across the Cairngorms.
The weather on Monday was so wet and windy that some sheltered low level snow was needed and we spent some time practicing skills before Gavin and Tony headed back down south and Sue and I retreated to the climbing wall!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Cat's claws and a windy day

Cat came up for a day of winter skills in the first stage of her plan to climb Mont Blanc with friends to raise funds for the Schiehallion children's ward at Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow.
It was a very windy day but we found some shelter in Coire na Ciste to practise winter skills and Cat enjoyed walking with her first set of "claws"!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Wintry winter skills

John, Helen, Keith and Dessie from the Bank of Scotland's Hillwalking Club were out yesterday and today enjoying the snow. There was practically no wind this morning which was a surprise after a blustery day yesterday.
We walked into Coire an t-Sneachda with Ron's Talisman group then up the Goat Track to the plateau for some snowhole digging and navigation. The clouds and snow showers closed in late on in the afternoon and the wind picked up just as we were heading down.