Sunday, 30 December 2007

Wonderful Cairngorm Day

Here we are on the Escalator, a grade II climb on Hells Lum Crag. As you can see conditions are good with plenty ice forming on the climbs. We met one team of climbers who had to retreat from Auld Nick as the ice was not thick enough on the upper-most pitch. There is also a photo of Kathy digging her snow pit for the information service. Behind you can see Shelterstone Crag and Carn Etchacan. We walked out over the plateau down into Corie an t-sneachda via the Goat Track. There were many people climbing there and the main gullies looked to be in good condition with some butress routes also beng climbed..The walking conditions and ski-moutianeering opportunities are opening up. There are many patches of ice and sastrugi.There is wind slab in sheltered gully tops, which means that any unsuspecting hill traveller would be well advised to stay alert and focused, making sure you put your crampons on early and especially before you get committed on the steeper and slippery slopes! Keep you ice axe handy and know how to self arrest, but of course, it's advisable not to trip and fall in the first place!
I apoligise for not up-dating our blog over the past few days, camera problems were to blame! Although I do feel its important to inform you that only a couple of days ago we did witness an important event. This was Blyth Wright of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) - N. Cairngorms using the new Threshold Sums version of the Cornice forecasting model operationally and for the first time! The results are yet to be revealed but we are assured by Blyth that this was a historic momment!

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