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Sunday, 14 February 2010

White and wet with crocodiles!

It was extremely busy today with the upper carpark filling up by 8.15 am. The coires were packed full too with large crocodiles and queues on many routes. As the freezing level rose to plateau level the snow turned to rain for a time.
The wet snow on top of firm neve caused our crampons to ball up if care wasn't taken while climbing up the Goat Track. More of a worry were the climbers slipping and sliding while descending and then traversing directly above us with balled up crampons - we were the skittles.
A large school group of twelve following behind us all tied together on two ropes ready to snare any sliding climbers - at least that's what it looked like!!
On the plateau whiteout conditions meant extreme care was required while navigating to the Domhain snow holes for some relocation exercises and then hand-railing the corrie rims back to avoid walking over the cornices. BTW many of the tracks come perilously close to to or over the corniced edges and I'm surprised that more people haven't fallen through them!
Avoiding the overhung cornices we descended by windy col looking at snow belays, basic ropework and abseiling just as the coire began to clear on queue for some more white wintry photos...
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