Today Ivor and I managed our first day of winter climbing this season with a trip to Creagan Coire a’Cha-no in the Cairngorms. We climbed “The Blood is Strong” on the Blood Buttress. This was good value for the grade on the day with lot’s of interest in the many short corners. After this the spindrift got the better of us and we headed for home.
The wind was transporting lots of snow around and there were a couple of hours of snow showers during the day. It was relatively sheltered down on the crag, but this shelter meant lots of soft snow building on the ledges, which had to be cleared and some sizable cornices developing, particularly above Wide Gully. The turf was frozen on the route. Slopes at height that were being scoured by the wind had very little snow on them.
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.
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.
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.