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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Good snow conditions but getting windier!

Surprisingly clear and relatively calm on our walk into Coire an t-Sneachda though the gusty wind and spindrift eventually made it's presence felt at moraine ridge as we geared up.
We had decided that today was probably our only chance and the best weather day for some winter climbing up high. As Abhishek had only once before been tied onto a rope and that was on a Himalayan Trekking peak so he was thrown in at the deep end.
Richard had done some alpine peaks, skiing and climbing, so though rusty with ropework was in his element. Ab on the other hand had done no ropework and no Scottish winter mountains and was finding the weather, painful spindrift and cold challenging never mind digging belays, tying knots and climbing!
Despite this we headed up looking at avalanche pits on a slightly slabby approach to a nice scoured and firm Jacob's Ladder.
I set up the snowbollard belays and under supervision they both led a pitch before we looked at lowers and abseils to avoid the unpleasant windy conditions on the Cairngorm plateau. This gave Richard the chance to refresh his ropework and to lower Ab on an Italian Hitch and then abseil down himself.
A good challenging winters day which hilighted the importance of  being well organised with kit and packing ski goggles.
Compared to today it's forecast to be very stormy tomorrow with winds gusting in excess of 100 mph!

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