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Saturday, 27 December 2008

Great weather, great neve

Calm, sunny and cold with spectacular views across Scotland to the west coast and north above a surreal sea of cloud.
A very pleasant introduction to Scottish winter mountaineering and winter skills.
We met Kathy returning from her observations for the Scottish Avalanche Info Service (SAIS) and she has posted some great photos looking across the loch Avon basin to Carn Etchacan and Castlegates Gully. See http://saisncairngorms.blogspot.com/ We also met Andy and his client who'd had a great day over in Coire an Lochain.
For some time now the snow conditions have been perfect for climbing in the gullies.
The rock hard snow ice is also ideal for step cutting and learning crampon footwork with a strong emphasis on not tripping or falling...
Stopping a slide by ice axe braking would be at best difficult and painful even for the experienced on an easy angled slope - never mind the inexperienced on a steep slope!
We witnessed several near misses by casual walkers and climbers returning from the plateau back to Coire Cas as they stepped off the rocky ridge onto the icy snow without crampons or even ice axes at the ready... Take care out there and don't slip or trip!
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