Tuesday, 31 January 2012

A long day, but worth it!

We found ace climbing conditions today and the winds were not so bad. Two nice new interesting lines, one long and mixed , the other, a nice ice pitch before dark and then the long walk out and mountain bike ride!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Climbing is ace, but its our community thats perfect!

We all led a few previously unclimbed pitches today. I was with Andy and Dave. Our pal John was in same local corrie. The climbing is pretty good right now but man, it's our climbing friends that make it all so perfect! Its an international scene and we are all so lucky!
Lots of windslab around on the corrie rims... and lower to around 600 metres or so...... stay sharp!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Cairngorm day

Another nice day in the Northern Corries!.

Neil on Claude on a belay stance.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Spiral Gully

With Neil and Kelvin we climbed Spiral Gully, conditions are sporting, turf well frozen and where ice exists , its good!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Northern Corries, Cairngorm

Conditions are thin but not so bad. Turf is well frozen but there is a lack of consolidated snow. Gully exits and scarp slopes of a Northerly aspect have pillows of poorly bonded wind slab and were worthy of respect and required very careful route choice today!

Chris in Crotched Gully. The steep traverse pitch going rightward and the top of the first snow bay was awkward and very thin today, much harder than it's grade.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

North West

Quite a rewarming occurred over Scotland and the Cairngorms so we headed West. Snow tonight though, so fingers are crossed!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Central Gully

Chris climbing in Central gully , it's in thin conditions just now so gives some nice and interesting ice pitches.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Lurcher's Crag

This West-South-West facing cliff lies on the flank of the Lairig Ghru. We climbed Central Gully today which has two good ice pitches although the lower pitch had to be avoided today as the ice was very thin. The upper pitch was just OK. Its grade III with two stars. It's graded as a IV in the SMC Scottish Winter climbs guide which makes me feel a bit better as I thought it was a bit harder than a three today!
The route was first climbed by B. Taplin and O. Ludlow on the 4th March 1970 and is a nice adventure.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Corie an t Sneachda

Today we climbed in the Northern Corries of the Grampian mountains, otherwise known as the Cairngorms. These photos are of Chris on Spiral Gully with variations... its very thin but sporty, turf frozen with really very little consolidated snow. Some of my friends went over to Hells Lum and hoped to do Brimstone Grooves, but they found the ice very friable with water and slush below... so backed off! They reported that the cornices are large with lots of deep snow. On corrie rims there is lots of snow on lee slopes!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

A'Phocaid, Lairig Ghru to Glen Feshie

Pitch 1.

Pitch 2

With John we climbed a nice grade III on A'Pocaid. Its a long walk in but made easier by the lack of snow and the wonderful new path built last year.Once there the conditions were not so bad. We had wished to climb Spy Glass gully which was first climbed by Simon Richardson and Chris Cartwright, but the first pitch was barely there with lots of water running below the fragile ice. I spotted an interesting looking line on a buttress back to the south so we climbed that in four pitches. A wonderful day!

Pitch 4

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Opposite photo, we jumped and jumped on this small cornice today and it would not move...

Nice walking and high up there is still quite a bit of snow. This photo :taken from Craig Moseen looking towards Broad Cairn. The rising path comes from the Spittal of Glenmuick along the Loch side and up Corrie Chas to the col between Sandy Hillock and Broad Cairn.

Monday, 9 January 2012


Quite nice snow cover high up!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Lucky us!

Climbed this interesting line today with Andy, it goes at IV/4 and my pitch was thin, the crux and poorly protected. Great value really as we thought the day would be a bit of a wash out! Lucky us and our tenacity paid off. I think it would be a tricky grade III in proper freezing conditions, but we gave it a IV as thats how we found it and the convention. We still have to name it!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Lairig Ghru

Was in here today and had good look at Lurchers and Sron na Lairige, but it was not as sheltered and out of the wind as we had hoped and after pottering about we walked out again.
Looking up at Lurchers, ice thin but existing! Steeper lines not complete.


Sron na Lairige.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Bad viz day... again!!!

Interesting time in the Cairngorms, the weather is all over the place. Lots of fresh snow in the car park at Cairngorm this morning, then by mid afternoon the freezing level had gone up and it was semi thawing around car park level but freezing and so cold with the wind chill a few hundred metres higher. Could not see so much today but there is a good base of snow forming and its looking good, the freezing level is due to come down again so once the winds die down, its looking promising!!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Indictaors of interest.

As we travel through the mountains there are many ways nature has of letting us know whats been going on with the conditions...
In the above photo, (a bit hard to see in the mist) the snow has been blown from the wind exposed right side into the lee slope on the left of the photo....

The snow adhering to the tree trunk shows wind direction and moisture content of the new snow. The slope behind the tree is blown clear of snow, one has to ask, where has it gone? This wind blown snow eroded from the slope behind will be wind slab laying on a lee slope somewhere else!