Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Runnel, Spiral Gully and Fiacaill Couloir

Ron and I went into Coire an t-Sneachda today to climb some gullies. We didn't quite get the dry day with light winds that we were expecting but it was a good day to be out all the same. There were a few flurries of snow as we started up towards the Runnel where Ron decided to climb the left hand chimney at the top. There was a little rocky step then good ice followed by a snowy arete to the plateau. So then we headed down the Goat Track to Spiral Gully which by this time was clear of other climbers. Some more nice ice in the lower and upper sections and all too soon, we were back up on the plateau! The wind was beginning to pick up a bit more so we quickly went back down the Goat Track and off to Fiacaill Couloir which Ron thought would be sheltered from the wind! Soft snow on the approach and more great ice in the couloir itself and back to the plateau and down the Goat Track yet again. As it was getting late we set off for the car park getting back just as it started to rain. Ron had the helmet camera with him so video from him to come and photos too here in a little while.We watched folk abseiling down from Red Gully and Goat Track Track Gully....! We also saw the loose rocks being dislodged in that area! There is good climbing to be enjoyed on the right routes!!!

I picked up a wire that was lying on the snow in Spiral Gully. I would like to return it to its owner so if they could email me with a description and provide a stamped addressed envelope, I'll be happy to return it.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Aladdin's Mirror Direct

Carron and I had such a good day out in Coire an t-Sneachda yesterday, we went back for more fun and games today. We walked into the corrie in low cloud, drizzle and gusty winds but with the weather forecast saying that the weather was to improve as the day went on, we kept optimistic and climbed up towards Aladdin's Mirror Direct.

The ice was very amenable and positive for both the crampons and the axes and it was a pleasure to climb on, The top of the icefall came all too quickly! We abseiled off as we were after a short day and enjoyed a bit of a cold shower, which was blowing upwards, as we abseiled down.

Also, caught on camera on the SAIS blog, see here

There were a few folk in the corrie today on The Runnel (Ken Applegate), the Mirror and some of the other gullies.

Ron was out with Erica and Kris for their last day of the mountaineering course digging snow shelters and some photos from Ron here.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Jacob's Ladder, Aladdin's Couloir and the Runnel

Carron and I walked into Coire an t-Sneachda with Ron, Erika and Kris today. They were going to climb Jacob's Ladder and we were going to have a look at Hidden Chimney but as the ice at the start looked a bit thinner than I would have liked, Carron and I soloed up Jacob's Ladder then walked across the plateau to climb down Aladdin's Couloir.
Back down in the corrie, we went for a wander and as The Runnel looked good, we went up that. The snow on all the routes was soft, not surprisingly goving the mild temperature and we got the bonus of a nice, icy pitch on The Runnel.
More info and pictures from Ron here
I try to add pictures in order but having just received Carron's pictures, I wanted to add this one of me at the top of the Runnel, silly grin, great day!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Twin Ribs

Ron took Erica and Kris up Twin Ribs today and I wandered along enjoying some great views into Coire an t-Sneachda. The winds were forecast to be quite strong but we were sheltered until we reached the ridge when it became a bit more blustery but nothing more than normal for Cairngorm!
Ron picked an interesting route up through the snow and rocks then we stopped on the way down to look at snow belays.
On the way in, the track had been good giving easy walking but on the way out, I was wishing I had my snowshoes as my feet kept sinking into the soft, deep snow.

Cairngorm skiing - Thursday

Not quite as good a weather day as Wednesday but fun all the same. We tried out the ski mountaineer's ski pass which gives use of two tows to reach the top of the ski area but as we found out after trying to use the Day Lodge Poma and the West Wall tow, its use is actually limited to the Fiacaill Poma and the M1 tow.
The snow was a bit heavier and the light a bit flat as we skied down from Cairngorm summit then skinned back up into Ciste Mhearad for a final run back down to the car park.
No pictures as they wouldn't have shown much!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Cairngorm skiing

A lovely sunny day today so Ron and I went up to Cairngorm for an afternoon skiing. The snow on the runs was good and varied giving some powdery skiing, some fresh drifts and one or two scoured bits later on in the day after the wind picked up. We also skied down to Ciste Mhearaid then put the skins on the skis to get back up to the summit of Cairngorm. We skiied down Coronation Wall to get a few more runs before the end of the day.

Slochd forest trails

With all the fresh snow down to low levels, the forest tracks around Slochd have been great fun. Ron and I skied round the upper track on Sunday on a good trail then on Monday we created a trail on the lower track. What an effort it was but well worth it when we skied the same track on Tuesday.
For photos and videos from Ron click here and here.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Chute Route, Coire an Lochain

A sunny day again at Cairngorm so Ron and I went out to climb in Coire an Lochain. We had thought about Sidewinder but the buttresses looked a bit black over that side of the corrie so we looked again and went to Chute Route. As it is so seldom in condition, it seemed a shame not to climb it!
The first pitch gave a tricky start over a bit of a rocky step which Ron bridged up then above that was some lovely steep ice that just swallowed up the picks of the axes as we hit the ice. That gave some fun pulling the picks out again without losing balance! The ice above was a bit more brittle but still good.
Above that I climbed up on good neve up to and over the cornice and then back into the sun on the plateau.
After chatting to Al and Charlotte completing their third route of the day we wandered back and down the Goat Track chatting to Smiler on the way.
More to come from Ron here and I'm sure he'll have pinched some of my pictures!

Meall nan Tarmachan

It's not often I'm pleased to see low cloud and mist but for the Edinburgh Tiso Climbmts Navigation Course, the poor visibility was perfect. We navigated our way up to the summit of Meall nan Tarmachan taking a line that avoided the obvious path yet gave plenty of lumps, bumps and kinks in contour lines to find on the way.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Aladdin's Mirror Direct and an alternative finish!

The weather forecast was looking rather windy for this morning but up at the ski area, the wind felt less blustery than down in Aviemore so off we went into Coire an t-Sneachda. Chris wanted to climb Aladdin's Mirror Direct so that was our goal for the day. There were a couple of parties in front but soon it was our turn and Ron headed up. Chris followed enjoying the steep ice and then I followed up after taking some video clips of Chris. The ice was good and steep and the odd blasts of spindrift coming down added to the experience!

We climbed up a couple of pitches of Aladdin's Mirror on neve that had softened just the right amount. Instead of climbing up to the Aladdin's Mirror / Couloir exit, Ron decided to take the snowy ramp that went off to the right though some "interesting" terrain then found an icy chimney which gave some lovely climbing to the scrambly ridge that took us up to the plateau and gave us a great finish to the day.

More from Ron to come on his blog, click here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Twin Ribs

Becca and Jo picked an interesting route up Twin Ribs today enjoying the views and the excellent snow whilst I wandered about being photographer! A great day out and so much better than we expected as it was blue skies again all day.