Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Raeburns Route

Sally and I took Steve to Stob Coire nan Lochan today to help him 'winterise' his summer climbing. We went to Raeburns (Ordinary) Route and with a good start were on the first pitch before anyone else was in the coire. We discussed avalanche avoidance, winter conditions and movement on mixed ground, winter stance management and gear placement. Steve's experience showed through and by the last pitch (after following the 'pedestal' variation) was ready to lead the last ropelength with me climbing beside him.
The route is well stepped but the snow was a little more 'airy' and less firm than a few days ago. Cracks were also a little more iced up. The winds weren't as bad as they might have been but there was some spindrift around and there were fresh soft cornices around some aspects at gully mouths and we could see snow being deposited on lee slopes.

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