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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Hoods up and heads down!

Today was a total contrast from yesterday with poor viz and strong southerly winds plastering wet snow into our faces. Right from the start it was a case of hoods up and heads down into Coire an t-Sneachda in the hope that it would ease as was forecast on one weather site. It didn't ease off at all and a lot of fresh wet snow has fallen today creating a high avalanche risk yet again!
After speaking to a few friends and fellow guides then digging several avalanche pits on northerly aspects we decided that avalanche risk was too high to climb on most aspects!
With hoods down and being blasted by the snow on our sides we headed across the corrie to the mixed ground and ribs on Fiacaill Ridge. In the blizzard we climbed up using direct anchors to save time, faff and to get back to the car ASAP though ignoring the weather the climbing was fun. A team ahead of us turned out to be Andy Nisbet and his clients who'd had the very same idea. At the top we just glimpsed a wave from Smiler and his clients returning from ascending Fiacaill Ridge!
Su said she'd never experienced anything like today before... We then headed back to dry off for tomorrow.
Fi was with KC today teaching winter skills from the shelter of a snowhole in Coire na Ciste. Tomorrow they're off on a snowhole expedition. Full details on Fi's blog here
With the conflicting and contradictory weather reports it could do anything tomorrow other than what is being forecast!

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