Great weather, great snow, great ice, great company - in fact it was a great day!
I was out climbing with Morris today who was keen to see how a leash-less Scottish Grade 4 ice route felt like following his recent ice climbing trip to Canada where he had top roped some WI4+.
As Morris was still recovering from a badly broken leg he didn't fancy any long approaches.
We headed into Coire an t-Sneachda and then up to climb Aladdin's Mirror Direct, before abbing off to climb a fat icy Red Gully. With the warm temperatures on the plateau I was expecting the ice to be slightly wet and plastic however everything was frozen solid, unclimbed and really quite brittle. This gave Morris a chance to dance on Scottish ice and good workout with his unmodified leash-less Petzl Aztars. As Morris hung on for dear life with fading grip, extracting my ice screws at the steep bulge of water ice, his language was, err well, colourful - now Morris where's that video clip ;-)
The weather and winter climbing conditions were phenomenal and we were expecting queues of folk on AMD and Red Gully. In the end we were the only ones to climb AMD and there was only one other party ahead of us on Red Gully - Goat Track Gully, the ski area and Aviemore were very busy though!