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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Much improved build-up of firm snow in the Corries

We took a wander in the corries today to get some photos and for some winter climbing on Grooved Rib trying out my new Quark axe and hammer which broke on their first outing. Hopefully an isolated problem as the Petzl Quark hammer's Trigrest just snapped off!
The Cairngorm plateau is still wind scoured and icy however the recent fresh snow and constant wind drifting has filled many of the lower runs in the Cairngorm ski area.
The main N to NE facing climbing lines and especially the Fiacaill Buttress area through to the Trident Gully area are much improved. There's now good firm snow cover, even on the approach slopes as well as the climbs. There's also plenty of thick ice in the main drainage lines.
Still fairly sparse cover on NW facing aspects such as the Mess of Pottage/Jacob's Ladder area but at least you don't have to dig for your routes!
For off piste skiers there's much improved snow cover in the gullies and in the stream lines. Lurchers gully has now filled in completely which is good news for ski mountaineers who just need a wee bit more cover on the plateau
See also Fi's blog here for more details and photos from our climb on Grooved Rib.

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