Monday, 29 November 2010

What turned out to be a nice walk.

Alex and I headed upto Stob Coire nan Lochan again this time to go and have a look at spectre. On the walk in it soon became obvious that the crags were heavily rimed and that Crest route was going to be a better option. We geared up in the bottom of the coire and then headed on up to the bottom of the route. On the way we where trying to work out where the route actually went but there was some confusion between our interpretation of the route and what we could actually see. After a good half hour of faffing we still weren't a 100% sure. We had decided on SCNL because Alex had to start work at 5pm and now we were running out of time. So we called it a day and had a wonder around the coire and had a boulder on some of the smaller crags. All of the steep lines were in good condition and people were out on twisting gully and original route. There were some large deposits of wind slab in sheltered spots and did bar progress to a couple of the route on summit buttress but most were avoidable.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

A busy day in Stob Coire nan Lochan

Alex just below the slab that could do with a bit more ice.

After the recent snow fall Alex and I headed back up into Stob Coire nan Lochan to have a look at Scabbard Chimney(V,6). It still looked thin but much whiter so we geared up and got on it. Unfortunately our path was barred at about 10m. Both Alex and I just couldn't seem to find a way up it and neither of us fancied taking the long fall onto some rather nasty ground. So we retreated and went and had a look at the direct start to Dorsal Arete(IV,5). This is a great couple of pitches of climbing if a Little bold on the first pitch. The Coire was very busy with queues on Dorsal Arete and Reaburns route. There were also teams on Ordinary route, NC gully and Twisting gully and a team retreating from Innuendo saying the snow just wasn't consolidated. Rest day today as the forecast looked a bit minging but out again on Monday. 

Just about to enter the crux chimney on Direct start to Dorsal Arete.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Glen Coe Conditions

 Looking down Broad gully to the coire floor.

 Summit buttress

The main buttress from the coire floor.

After a couple of lazy days, I couldn't bare another day doing nothing so after a lazy start I headed up to Stob Coire nan Lochain. The cold temperatures of the last couple of days have really had an effect. There was water ice on the path straight from the car and all of the wet streaks on the crags were frozen. In the Coire the snow is starting to firm up but the top layer still brakes through every now and then. There were teams out on Dorsal arete and Raeburns route and they reported good conditions. Chatting to one guy who said he had done Twisting gully on Monday and said there was ice on the whole route. Today the gullys looked thin but just about complete and the steeper buttress' were black but dry. Hopefully the strong Northerly winds and snow forecast will rime up the rock ready for the weekend.

Monday, 22 November 2010

A hit and miss weekend.

Creag Coire Na Ciste

Battling with the first groove on Original Summer Route

On Saturday Alex, Ken, Dave and I took a walk up the Ben with Observatory ridge in mind. The forecast had suggested that the freezing levels would drop and we were hoping to find good firm neve but instead we found slush at 900m and my watch was still reading +3c. We decided to save are self the misson and just had a wander around to look at other conditions. There are many of the freeze/thaw lines visible but still need to fatten up. The upper Buttress' were rimed but it was thawing all the way until just below the summit.

On Sunday we took a drive over to the Cairngorms and because of a couple of delays we opted for an easier and shorter route. Original Summer route is a fine, sustained mixed route on the left side of Aladdin's Buttress. Very little snow fell during the day but the wind did pick up and start to shift some of the existing snow around and we found a couple of areas of slab at the bottom of Aladdin's Colouir.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Winter is finally here.

Winter has finally arrived and it is hard to believe it is only November. After spending the last month (or two) trying not to get to excited at the thought of winter it is here. On Saturday Alex and I headed over to the Cairngorms to have a look in the Northern Corries to see what route we could get on. It turned out that conditions where better than we thought they would be and managed to get on The Message. It was a route I had been looking at last season but never really got the chance. It was everything I hoped it would be and more, a couple technical sections but with loads of protection and a fantastic day out. I've not been posting alot this summer as I was working towards my MIA Ass, which I passed thankfully. Here is to more winter to come.