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Monday, 25 October 2010

Blue skies, sun, crusty snow but fun climbing!

A hard overnight frost and sunny forecast had us walking into Coire an t-Sneachda with our climbing kit to check out the conditions. We half expected them to be marginal with the buttresses slowly stripping as the day progressed but were pleasantly surprised.
Not a huge amount of deep snow but the corries were really nice and white and the buttresses well rimed.
It was to be our first winter route of the season. The Seam on the wind sheltered Fiacaill buttress area appealed especially as it sparkled in the morning sun.
The approach was fairly easy on the crusty snow and soft turf.
The first two pitches were a bit insecure as in places the ice wasn't as well adhered as wished! The steep final pitch was caked in icy snow and required a clearing to find good axe placements and reliable protection but once found was bomber.
On Belhaven alongside us were Tamson G on a fine lead with Rosie G and Heather M following on a all girlie day out - more details on Rosie's 'Chicks Unleashed' blog here.
On the other side of the corrie on Spiral Gully, Andy N and Alex were completing a new direct finish and other teams were busy on White Magic and Fingers Ridge.
Over in Coire an Lochain James G and pals were appreciating the value of large friends on Bulgy while other teams climbed Fallout Corner and Y-Gully!!
Apart from Fiacaill ridge and the mentioned routes we didn't see as many climbers as we'd expected on such a cracking winters day.

You can view the video above in full HD on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NawMD_eKn3A
Fi has a report with some stunning photos on her blog at http://fionachappell.blogspot.com/2010/10/seam-coire-t-sneachda-monday-25th.html

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