Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Jakub on the sharp end. First winter lead climb in the Cairngorms.

Today we went back into Coire an t Sneachda again. It started a little drier than yesterday and then went drizzly but finished with a little sleet on the plateau (-1 C on summit of Cairngorm now.... finally its freezing somewhere....). A pair headed into the Runnel ahead of us and I know how much loose rock there is on the walls of that route so didn't fancy entering a potential shooting gallery so we headed left for Central Gully Left Hand. This had soft snow and Jakub and Anna led the route with me in close attendance. It was marred by 20m of gravel and bare rock (and a very little grass) at the point where you break out of Central into the Left branch but higher up there was enough ice to build a belay from Abalakov threads and place an ice screw runner. This justified me carrying an ice screw and a threader today much to my surprise!
Will it colder.... how much colder will it get... will there be snow with it? It certainly needs snow now as well. The only 2 gullies in the Northern Corries that are totally complete are Jacobs Ladder and The Couloir.

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