For the past week I have been winter mountaineering in the Cairngorms. The climbnow facebook page has a large number of images from the last five days which show clearly the conditions at the moment.
During the last five days the team and I visited; Coire Laogh Mor, Coire na Ciste, Coire an t-Sneachda, the plateau area and Stag Rocks.
The buttresses of the Northern Corries remain very white. A large number of cornices persist over the butrresses. However, by Friday the quality of the snow in the corries has improved a lot due to the mid week thaw and refreeze. There is a very large thaw coming tomorrow. Hopefully, this will encourage the cornices to fall down and if we then have a refreeze conditions may be very good.
Stag Rocks has been busy this week with teams enjoying routes such as Apex Gully and Albino.
Hells Lum is completely buried with a huge cornice covering three quarters of the face. Carn Etchachan and Shelter Stone are very white and need a thaw and refreeze.
Sharon, Ian, Steve, Martin and I have had a great day out today in Coire an Lochain (Cairngorms). We climbed the classic Central Crack Route. This excellent climb gives varied mixed climbing with a number of variations possible in the upper section.
The conditions on the route were good. The turf was frozen and the buttress was very white. Lots of ice is forming including unhelpful verglas in the cracks. It should be noted that the approach to all routes at the moment requires care. This is due to there being no build up on the crag aprons giving difficult cramponing conditions.