Friday 11th December 2009

Pamela and I were out today in Coire an t-Sneachda and climbed Grooved Rib with the right hand finish. An interesting route with two good top pitches on a glorious sunny day.

The snow is firming up and there’s ice forming. Gear placements still needed some digging to find on this angle of route, although a number of the steeper buttresses are starting to strip. Turf is well frozen.

Plenty of teams in the coire with routes climbed on the Mess of Pottage (Adam and Greg climbing Wachacha), Pygmy Ridge, The Runnel, Crotched Gully, Red Gully and over on the the Fiacaill Buttress.

Pamela on Final Belay

Pamela on Final Belay

Friday 11th December Glencoe

I was out today with the Falkirk High Tops Team in Glencoe. We started our day by ascending Dinnertime Buttress to Stob Coire Nan Lochain. This makes a great approach when free of snow which is a bit faster than the normal fotpath.
We then continued our day by climbing Pinnacle Gully, bagging the summit and descending Broad Gully. The snow on both routes and the ridge was fantastic. Crampons were required wherever snow was on the ground. The snow remained frozen all day.
I had a chat with Billy and Stevie who were up from the Glasgow area. They were on Dorsal Arete which looked in great condition with neve all the way up to the fin.
Photo courtesy of Craig Mclaren.

pinnacle-gully1

Tuesday 8th December Northern Corries

There is still plenty of routes in condition in the Northern Corries. Today Pamela and Andrew climbed Hidden Chimney on Mess of Pottage while over in Coire an Lochain James and Greg climbed Central Crack Route. The buttresses were all still white.

Monday 7th December Mess of Pottage

Greg and James were out today on the Mess of Pottage (Cairngorms). They reported that there are still plenty of routes in condition.?They climbed The Opening Break and The Message.

Friday 4th December

As reported by Euan, Pamela and I headed over to Stag Rocks and climbed Afterthought Arete. There’s a lot of unconsolidated snow around and a good bit of sweeping / digging was required. The turf when reached was well frozen and ice is forming (Cascade is starting to form). The walk in was a slog and skis would have been useful. The route felt harder than III and even with some variations out to the right we climbed sections of technical 4. See below for a photo of the route.

Pamela on Afterthought Arete

Pamela on Afterthought Arete

Friday 4th December

Pamela, Martin, Neil and i headed to the Cairngorms today. We walked into the Goat Track and over to the Loch Avon basin. The Northern Corries were plastered and buried in deep snow and we were hoping for better conditions over the back.
Martin and Pamela succeeded on Afterthought Arete. Neil and i ran out of time on Carn Etchachan and had to abseil off our route.
There is a lot of deep snow everywhere. Currently conditions look better for ski touring than climbing.

Tuesday 1st December Cairngorms

Today was a very wild day in the Cairngorms. Greg and James abandoned at the car park as their very large vehicle was rocking from side to side.
Matt, John, Glenn, Fran, Pamela and Andrew made it into the corrie but turned around after being blown over a few times.

Monday 30th November Northern Corries

Greg returned to Coire an Lochain today with James. He was amazed at how much new snow has come down (or been redistributed) since we were in the corrie yesterday. They climbed Sidewinder to near the junction with Savage Slit and finished up Western Route to give a more sustained outing. They spotted one other team on Fallout Corner.

Sunday 29th November Northern Corries

Greg and i were out today in Coire an Lochain. We climbed Deep Throat on No.4 Buttress. The route was heavily rimed and buried under deep snow which made the going time consuming. Any turf (although there didnt appear to be much) was frozen. Other teams were on The Hoarmaster and Savage Slit.

Photos will appear shortly on Greg Boswells blog.

Sunday 29th November 2009

Out on Creag Mac Ranaich (809m), above Glen Ogle, with a group today. Soft crusty snow above 700m and the turf above the same level feeling pretty firm. Cold sunny day with temp below freezing and a circa 30 mph NE wind on the summit. No new snow today where we were, but some wind transportation. Ben Lawyers, Tarmacahan, Ben More, Ben Vorlich, Stuc a’Chroin etc. all looked to have a good cover of snow above about 700m.

Also had a report from someone who solo’ed Central Gully in Sneachda today. It sounded fairly blowy, with some wind slab and cornices starting to form on a NE wind; breakable/soft snow and icey bulges and the gully being harder than Grade I.