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Snow’s Back But Not The Climbing Conditions

My Guiding & Instructing Website: www.elements.gb.net

Date: 19th / 01 / 2012

Early start to beat the weather

Gordon and I opted for an early start today to try and beat the incoming unsettled wintery weather. We headed in to Coire an t-Sneachda with the hope of finding something steep and white to get our axes into. Unfortunately it was not to be, the rock is still dry and so was the snow. With little moisture in the air no rime had built over night on any of the crags.

Even Lochan looked well black from bottom to top 😦

Not white enough! What to do now?

We ran through all our options of how to save the day including a drive out West to the Ice Factor but we decided to stick with plan A and climb one of the only complete lines in the coire.

A pleasant quiet morning to be out in though.

Central Gully (Grade I) had a line of white from start to finish, visible from the coire floor so we headed for this. It gave some sport on the steeper steps due to the lack of build up.

A wee bit tougher in these conditions than the guide book Grade I!

We timed it just right and as we walked out from the climb the snow kicked in and the winds picked up – well worth the early start.

The only crag looking slightly white was Fiacaill Buttress, mainly due to superficial snow lying on the ledges, breaks and cracks. Getting to it and across the ledges looked decidedly dodgy.

Walking out there was significant amounts of wind slab building in places, these are going to increase overnight with all this wind and snow to give some interesting conditions tomorrow!

Gordon trying to concentrate while Rescue 137 does a fly-by

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