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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Winter skills

The recent mild weather has taken it's toll of the snow and winter climbing. The remaining old snow patches lie on high NE to SE aspects and on the high plateau. With imagination some long winter mountaineering and easy climbing excursions are still possible. Other aspects are more or less bare though care is still needed as the ground is frozen and icy in places, with dangerous exposed rocky run-outs.

Today the colder weather meant ideal bullet proof neve for step kicking, step cutting and cramponning for our course in an almost empty coire.
Good scenic winter hillwalking conditions on the Cairngorm, MacDui and Braeriach plateau but apart from' Half a Gully' the winter climbs in Coire an t-Sneachda and Coire an Lochain are now all broken.
We saw some folk descending Point 5 and someone was soloing in the Trident gully area - other than that it was quiet!!
Can't complain, we had light winds, the place to ourselves and good views on day one of our Xmas winter mountaineering course - tomorrows weather looks wild though! See also the Cairngorm SAIS blog for photos of the plateau here
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