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Sunday, 13 December 2009

An alpine like weekend - but busy!

The fantastic winter weather has continued through what has been the most pleasant but busiest winter climbing weekend of the season so far....
The Northern Corries were mobbed with many routes having long long queues! We were orginally going to avoid climbing during weekend but as the settled weather was forecast to breakdown on Monday we headed into the much quieter Coire an Lochain - along with another fifty odd climbers!!! Name a route, any route, hard or easy and it was being climbed!!
The snow at the foot of Number 2 Buttresses was good but more crusty than in Coire an t-Sneachda due to the aspect and extra altitude.
In the end we climbed Central Crack Route as it was free when we reached the top of the corrie approach slopes. It was a route that Fi hadn't climbed and I'd last climbed over 15 years ago. It was a Grade III then and Savage Slit was Grade IV in my older SMC and John Cunningham and Allen Fyffe guidebooks!
Central gave us a pitch or two each. Apart from the first crux pitch which was a strenuous iced up crack (hard if not built up) and the awkward squeeze chimney groove above, the route gave excellent climbing on snow, rock and ice without the usual cornice difficulties.
More info and photos on Fi's blog at http://www.marmotte.co.uk/blog/2009/12/blog-post.html
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