An early start and a wee wander over the bitterly cold (-30 with wind chill!) Cairngorm plateau to check out the climbs in the Loch Avon basin.
Firm but grippy conditions underfoot couldn't have been better for crossing the plateau, to the Shelterstone for a wee look. Fortunately it was totally calm once we had descended into the Loch Avon basin. Snow conditions were excellent and well built-up, but the ice was thinner than I had expected and the snow more crusty on the steep north facing crags. We saw two climbers in Hells Lum and two heading up the Sticil Face but no one else! See the YouTube video here and a panorama of the Loch Avon crags here.
Despite Fi wearing all her layers, we were still cold and decided to abandon my intended mixed route, after faffing about trying to dig out gear. We head up a scenic gully, to keep warm and get back to the car in daylight!
Lots more photos and crag shots from the day are on our Winter Conditions 2012/13 Facebook album.