Sunday 21 February 2016

Tough weekend in Glencoe

Claire was back for a weekends winter action. After previous great days on Ledge Route, Aonach Eagach, Ston na Lairig, East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn, Golden Oldy, Western Rib and The East Ridge of the North Buttress of Stob Ban I suppose it was our turn for some bad weather. I tried to recreate friday's ascent of Dinnertime Buttress but we met my colleague Rich on his way down with tales of high winds less than half way up. We went a very short way higher before getting our first knockdown gust at less than 400m. The call of the cafe became irresistible! Nice to have Cliff from Roxcool out with me for what turned into a VERY short day.
Today we went for a pretty 'sure thing' after I gave Clare some options and we had Cat along to observe me at work this time. We went to the Zigzags on Gearr Aonach and timed it right to get ahead of the crowds- at one stage it looked like almost 30 folk on the way up the walk in behind us! Clare made some of the decisions today and we were glad to add crampons to give us some traction on the wet snow covered rock on the scrambley bits. We stopped just below the top of the ridge for a bite to eat and drink and to let Adam and his team of young legs take over the trail breaking.
Then it was along the ridge in moderately wild weather (not as bad as it might have been) until we could drop into the bowl below the Coire and take the path down- interesting that the wind there was coming EAST around Stob Coire Nan Lochan and loading the bowl on the east side just there. Down and another Cafe- the Quarry Cafe in Ballachulish- recommended!
 Looks benign
 Here come the crowds!
 My 'mug on the move'
 Damp snow
 Slippery when wet
 Com on up!
 At the top, time to take a break and let someone else trail break
 A little wilder on the ridge
 Snow on the move
 Adam and team young legs on the horizon- but check that chockstone in the gully!
 High point team selfie
Cat likes CAKE!

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