Last day of our Winter Mountaineering Course and John decided to give his hip a rest after a week with a very steep learning curve (never worn axes and crampons or a harness until this week and now making a creditable imitation of a mountaineer!). Tab, Jim, Mary and I went to Aladdin's Couloir. We waited for a gap in the parties wandering up and down it ropes together but placing no gear and wandered up past those enjoying the pitch of ice on its left hand side. Near the top we roped up (and took a belay) and Mary broke out left to lead us up a steeper finish than the usual route. Other Lodge staff today were involved in assisting a casualty who had fallen down near the Goat Track and helping a walker find their mislayed partner, whilst still getting a route in and making it home for tea and cake!
The easier gullys are fairly firm and have steps kicked up them and there are still plenty of ice bulges around. The slightly steeper lines like Invernookie and Hidden Chimney are quite hacked up and rocky. There was a bit of rime around the coire rim today but it was raining at 1230 when we topped out.
This week I was working for Glenmore Lodge - next week I'm back in the wild west for a week.