Thursday 8 March 2012

Proper winter climbing at last

Snow devils whirling on the approach to the Coire
Looking white on Fiacaill Buttress
A busy crag
Looking down
And looking up
Thanks for the pic of me Giles
Fiona on the last pitch
At last had a great day's winter climbing in the Cairngorms. The dump of snow yesterday was due to reced today as the freezing level rose but as we entered Coire an t Sneachda it was obvious that it had brought the mixed climbs on Fiacaill Buttress into some kind of condition. We weren't the only ones with that idea as 2 teams from an MIC Training and a number of Guides under Assessment were already established in that area. We were taking our time with a later start and had an easy ride behind everyone else.
Charlotte and Fiona were both keen to experience something a little harder so I took them up Invernookie which was in fine condition with plenty of snow, frozen turf and gravel, good hooks and plenty of gear. The lack of build up gave us proper climbing with interest on every one of the 4 pitches we climbed today which led to big grins from my team.
We topped out into a strong wind and the snowline had risen from Glenmore Lodge up to the base of the crags which were looking quite black again unfortunately. Still winter came out to play for the day and gave us one of the better condition days the Cairngorms have seen this season.
Last day of our Winter Leading Course tomorrow and unfortunately I don't think conditions will be as kind as today.

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