In complete contrast to the last seven days, today provided new navigational and endurance challenges and the ability to ignore the Cairngorm winter narl.
We made the right choice in climbing on Aladdin's Couloir yesterday as today the high avalanche risk, fresh snow, whiteout and painful gusts of wind made even the simplest of tasks difficult!
We headed for the Ribs area to avoid the high Category 4 avalanche risk and to look at placing rock protection while pitching up the rock ribs. Several Glenmore Lodge teams on MIC assessment had the same idea!
With rapidly deteriorating weather and painful gusts we had the opportunity to look at escaping by abbing off with frozen gloves, goggles, ropes and screwgates.
On the return journey wading and staggering back through deep snow drifts with misted frozen goggles and compass in hand was another great test of stamina and endurance - the guys loved it and got the winter message! On arrival back at the Coire Cas carpark the ski road was just about passable though driving down the icy road in white out conditions was yet another challenge! Elsewhere on the hill Fi and Nathan were out with their adventurous training groups and Fi reported a couple of small avalanches being set off by the side of the Alt Mor and a large group of arrogant Lakes rescue dog handlers on training asking them to move on as they were on a training exercise ...
Tonight the roads are very treacherous and I passed by two separate accidents on the A9 - one up on last night and then I was tailgated and spun round by an idiot in a lorry as I tried to turn right off the A9 at the Carrbridge Slochd junction!!!! The A9 is a real death lottery at the Aviemore and Carrbridge junctions especially when drivers don't heed the wintry weather by cutting their speed and keeping a safe braking distance.
Several over due parties and avalanche incidents in the hills too. See the BBC Highlands news here and here.
You can view the full screen Cairngorm winter narl video above on YouTube here