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Sunday, 9 March 2008

A surprisingly good winters day given the weekend forecast!

Today turned out a lot better and sunnier than expected with fairly light winds.
The tracks were icy on the initial walk in though in Coire an t-Sneachda and on the plateau the snow was firm. On the NW facing climbs there was generaly a good covering of fresh firm snow with few problems on the exits due to the wind scouring. The coire head wall "Goat Track" was surprisingly OK too. Again it looked as though the NE to E aspects had the deepest buildup with some cornice development in places.
The coires were busy especially around the Trident and Goat Track areas but we managed to get a climb to ourselves on the Mess of Pottage which gave Sara and Chris the opportunity to practise their ropework for a few pitches and work out how to place and remove protection without getting too tangled up with the gear or other climbers ropes...!
Speaking to a few of the other local guides and fellow instructors gave a good idea of the general conditions. Apparently there is some ice in places that'll take ice screws though not in the likes of Red Gully which was snowed up rock. The buttress routes were generaly firm snowed up rock and unlike the paths they weren't too icy.
My camera refused to work with it's new 2 GB memory card and Chris's camera battery was low. I did manage to take a few photos with my phone and I've tried to upload them several times. Unfortunately after all that, the Google image server appears to be down!
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