Monday, February 04, 2019

Cairngorms - Winter Climbing

Winter Climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda

Jim and I arrived in Aviemore on Tuesday evening, for our fix of ice and mixed winter climbing. Some great weather conditions in the northern corries, super cold with blue skies... conditions on many climbs have been interesting, with too much ice in the gear placements and thin ice or powder on the routes themselves. Its means everything is climbing one grade harder : )

A Message from Scotland

The first day of our winter climbing trip, climbed 'The Message' with too much ice in the cracks!
A fine 'mixed' route - mixture of real fear, a few short desperate moves made memorable by thin axe or crampon holds, blue skies, and a walk out under starry skies.

A Classic Bluebird Day

Thursday was a classic 'bluebird day', climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda again : )
Did a unique variation / compilation of Red Gully, finishing in illuminated rocks, simply stunning. Jonathan Preston and Mikey Byford were climbing Fingers Ridge beside us. Rounded the day off with a stroll up Cairngorm summit! 

Jim took this beauty of Mikey finishing Fingers Ridge

Navigation & Route Finding Practice

Conditions changed quickly on Friday, snowing well with a bit of wind, ideal visibility for navigation practice... : ) Jim led a pick 'n mix line up Mess of Pottage - 'Haston Line', 'Yukon Jack', finishing up 'The Slant' before topping out and getting out! Contrast to yesterday's experience & pics.

The Cairngorms in all of their magnificence : )

Adventures and abstract in Saturday's contrasting conditions. We had a relaxed start with a hot walk in and instant chill down in the corries, teams queing up on routes so chose a quick moving route up 'The Runnel' (soloing to the last section) with an enjoyable lead to finish.

 With daytime temperatures going mild enough for snow thaw
for a few days, climbing conditions should improve over the next week!


Back in the Isle of Man Tim led the Adventure Club training on Sunday morning : )

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