Coire an t-Sneachda

John, Harvey and I were out in Coire an t-Sneachda today. We climbed Fiacaill Couloir descended The Goat Track and climbed Goat Track Gully, before heading around via pt. 1141m and back in to Coire Cas.

Harvey on one of the broken sections of Fiacaill Couloir

Harvey on one of the broken sections of Fiacaill Couloir

Fiacaill Couloir is now broken in a couple of places and a few steps on rock are required. Goat Track Gully, requires care to enter, but there is still good ice most of the way up the corner.

Harvey in Goat Track Gully

Harvey in Goat Track Gully

Temperatures were above freezing all day with a slow thaw ongoing. Snow on the routes was a mixture of firm old snow and a damp, softer more recent layer in sheltered locations. The turf was still well fozen where exposed on both routes. Care is required with loose blocks given the thaw and there are a number of bergschrund features to be negotiated. Cornices are much reduced, but should still be considered in route selection. Fresh South-Easterly winds on the tops today with sunshine and no precipitation.

John and Harvey with Fiacaill Buttress and Ridge behind

John and Harvey with Fiacaill Buttress and Ridge behind

Coire an t-Sneachda and Beinn a’Chaorainn

Just had a couple of good days in some interesting weather. Yesterday, Friday, I was out in Coire an t-Sneachda with Mac and Steve. The wind was forecast to be fairly strong, so we opted for a route where we could abseil off and not have to deal with conditions on the plateau. We climbed the first pitch of The Prodigal Principal via a mixture of good ice, thin delicate ice and some balancy mixed moves.

Mac nearly finished on the tricky section of The Prodigal Principal

Mac nearly finished on the tricky section of The Prodigal Principal

The ice on this route had significantly reduced from earlier in the week after Thursday’s thaw and it was quite tricky on the day and included getting over a small bergshcrund to access the route. We then moved into the top section of Doctor’s Choice; the lower section from the cave looked delicate on the day, but the upper corner had excellent ice and neve.

Mac smiling through the spindrift at the top of Doctor's Choice

Mac smiling through the spindrift at the top of Doctor’s Choice

From the top of the route we moved left and abseiled down in to Alladin’s Couloir.

Steve abseiling in to Alladin's Couloir

Steve abseiling in to Alladin’s Couloir

On the walk out we were asked to help out with an injured walker, who’d taken a tumble on The Goat Track, so we headed back in and assisted with the evacuation. Great to see a number of teams mucking in to help out and also the guys from Cairngorm Mountain, which made for a fairly swift exit for all concerned.

Today the freezing level was due to head above the summits with rain and strong West and South-West winds. Euan, Duncan, Scott, Steve, Tina and I headed for The East Ridge of Beinn a’Chaorainn. It was a pretty soggy walk in, but there was good firm snow on the ridge and the turf was frozen, which made for a good if damp climb. Visibility on the top was poor, so we dropped West then South-west from the summit and then back along the stream line to Roughburn.

Freezing level above the summits today with rain at summit level. Winds were lower than forecast whilst we were on the hill, but we were back to the car by mid-afternoon. I forgot my camera today, so no photos I’m afraid. At least two other members of the team had cameras with them, but chose not to get them out; it was that sort of day.