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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

A classic alpine day guiding on snow and dry rock

The amazing alpine like weather continues and today I was out with Marcus who'd last been regularly climbing in the 1990's.
We had an early alpine start and although misty in Aviemore, as soon as we drove up the ski road we broke through the cloud into the sunshine and glistening white mountains.
A lovely walk in on firm snow with views across Scotland, above the sea of cloud.
I'd kept the route options open as I wasn't sure how well frozen the snow was on any of the harder routes although it was good in the easy gullies and crag approaches.
The rock appeared dry so we decided the best and safest option, as temperature rose, would be to quickly climb Central Gully and then take our crampons off, alpine style, to climb the the dry rock of Pygmy Ridge, avoiding any ice in the grooves and ledges.
It was a good choice and we topped out before mid-day and potential rock and ice fall, for a leisurely stroll back in the sun.
On the drive back from our scottish winter route I put the car's air conditions on, rather than the usual heater, a first for me!
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