With a forecast of low winds, sunshine and a frost I decided to go for a run up some hills behind Kingussie today. I took in Beinn Bhreac; the Corbett of Carn an Fhreiceadain; Carn Coire na h-Inghinn; Creag Dhubh and Creag Mhor. They’re not the most dramatic hills, but with superb views in today’s low sunlight and long shadows.
Beinn Bhreac and Carn an Fhreiceadain are now tracked right over their summits and could potentially be a good choice if the grounds very wet or for a mountain bike or ski touring ascent (as the tracks will tend to hold snow). There was a frost from the valley up today with ice on the tracks. The thaw of the last week or so has severely reduced the snow cover with only patches above about 700m and continuous snow only visible in major features and around coire rims above about 900m. The turf had a surface freeze, but wasn’t fully frozen at around 880m (my highpoint for the day). The best snow cover I could see today appeared to be on the Fannichs, which were visible in the distance. There are more photos on the ClimbNow Facebook page. Happy New Year! Wilf.
On Saturday and Sunday John and I were in the Cairngorms with a Falkirk Community Trust Climbing Team of Andrea, Christine and Marco and Craig was out with a High Tops Team of Alec, Davie and Norrie.
After dropping the walkers off the climbers cycled up Gleann an t-Slugain before putting up tents below Clach a’Cleirich. We had a heavy shower as we arrived at the campsite and when this eased we headed up to Gharbh Coire with thoughts of possibly climbing Squareface that afternoon. However, lots of snow in descent gullies and more rain showers meant we just stashed some gear for the better forecast day on Sunday.
An early start on Sunday saw us climbing the classic Cumming-Crofton Route on Mitre Ridge with Bell’s Variation once the ridge itself was reached. This gave interest all the way, particularly in the bottom three pitches, which were wet and required care.
We then returned to the campsite and the cycled out. A good effort from the team particularly as they’re from a sports climbing background with very limited trad and multi-pitch experience.
The walkers had an excellent two days taking in Beinn Bhreac, Beinn a’Chaorainn, Beinn a’Bhuird and Ben Avon. See Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors facebook page for a report and photos from Craig.