Captain Fairweather

The weather forecast was better today for the east coast. Therefore we headed for the Cairngorms. Here we visited Creagan Coire Cha-no.

Due to the rise in temperatures overnight most of the crag is now out of winter condition. However, Captain Fairweather was still completely white so we climbed this. The snow on the route was moist but the turf was still well frozen.

Much of the snow on the approach to the route was frozen and crampons were required for the descent back to the car.

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The top ramp on Captain Fairweather.

A Report from the East and West

I have been out the mountains the last three days. On Tuesday Laura, Euan and I visited Cha-no in the Cairngorms. Conditions were excellent on Anvil Gully and Short Ridge. Some windslab was building in Recovery Gully.

We visited Lurchers Crag on Wednesday. The top of South Gully looked fairly loaded on one side we abseiled into Quinn and climbed back out. The conditions were not as good as on Cha-no. The turf was perfect on Cha-no but suspect on Lurchers.

Laura and Euan at the top of Lurchers.

Laura and Euan at the top of Lurchers.

Today the Falkirk High Tops Team and I were at the Cobbler where we climbed Chockstone Gully and Great Gully. Conditions on Chockstone Gully were Good. Great Gully is currently much harder than the guidebook grade.

The turf on the Cobbler is not frozen apart from where exposed to the wind.

Paul climbing in Great Gully.

Paul climbing in Great Gully.

Lots more photos on the facebook page.

Recovery and Diagonal Gully

Yesterday the team and I visited Creagan Coire Cha-no. After abseiling down Anvil Gully we climbed Recovery Gully with one team on the left and one team on the right side of the gully. The snow was firm on the left but soft on the right. The route is still snow all the way but this wont last long unless we get a top up soon.

Today we visited Stag Rocks. After doing a multi pitch abseil descent of the route we climbed back out. The snow in the gully was first class neve,

Climbing Diagonal Gully.

Climbing Diagonal Gully.

Creagan Coire Cha-no

Euan, Ivor, Nettle and I were out climbing in the Cairngorms today. We visited Creagan Coire Cha-no. The buttresses weren’t rimed, so the steeper rocky lines weren’t justifiable today. However, the turf was well frozen, old neve was very solid and there was snow on the easier angled lines.

Euan on the first pitch of Captain Fairweather.

Euan on the first pitch of Captain Fairweather.

We had a very pleasant day climbing a number of routes and getting to know some bits of the crag we hadn’t visited before. Euan and I started with Captain Fairweather, whilst Nettle and Ivor climbed Plasma Gully with a possible new steep finish on it’s left. Nettle and Ivor then climbed Captain Fairweather, whilst Euan and I checked out the North end of the crag and climbed a possible new line up the gully immediately left of Once Were Alpinists and finished with a quick solo of Wide Gully.

Euan leading the gully line of Beth's Escape just left of Once Were Alpinists.

Euan leading the gully line of Beth’s Escape just left of Once Were Alpinists.

It was well below freezing at the crag all day, with clear skies until late in the afternoon. Southerly / South-westerly winds were very light early on, but increased during the day with some transport of soft snow on to the sheltered areas of the crag rim e.g. the top of Wide Gully. Unfortunately, it looks like freezing levels are heading above the summits during the day tomorrow. Euan has put some more photos from today on the Climbnow Facebook page and Nettle has put some on the Routes Mountain Sport Facebook page.

Euan soloing Wide Gully.

Euan soloing Wide Gully.

Creagan Coire Cha-no

I was out with a Falkirk Team today of John, Gayle, Luci and Tam. We headed for Creagan Coire Cha-no in The Cairngorms, which proved a popular choice today.

Tam making light work of Chimney Rib

Tam making light work of Chimney Rib

After descending Recovery Gully, Gayle, Luci and I climbed pitch 1 of Frozen Planet, then bypassed the top pitch as the sun was catching it and making it very soggy. Also, it looked a bit improbable at IV,4, I notice it gets IV,6 on UKC. We then climbed Wile-E-Coyote, which had an excellent steep groove at mid height on well frozen snow, turf and ice. Meanwhile John and Tam climbed Chimney Rib, Frozen Planet (Pitch 1) and Duke’s Rib.

Gayle on the easier upper section of Wile-E-Coyote

Gayle on the easier upper section of Wile-E-Coyote

The sun came out as we walked in and it was a relatively easy walk as the last couple of days had thawed and refrozen the surface of the snowpack. Sunny for the first part of the day with buttresses stripping where in direct sunlight. Winds were low for most of day, but picked up in the afternoon and there was considerable wind movement of snow on a Southerly as we walked out.