I headed over to the Cairngorms on Sunday night as part of the winter residential with the UHI students in preparation for the Monday morning. I spent the week with Kate who wanted to improve her winter climbing and learn as much as she could in the time we had.
On Monday we climbed Hidden Chimney and then spent some time in the afternoon on snow belays in the sunshine at windy col. Tuesday was another glorious day and we spent the morning looking at placing screws and making Abalokovs and then headed up to the crags with the plan to climb something a bit harder, the one route that was free was Hidden Chimney direct which would have been fine if it wasn't so banked out that it gave us a pitch of III rather than IV,5. Wednesday was not such a nice day but we managed to get Kate doing some leading on the twin ribs and ran away at about 1pm when we were running out of dry gloves. Unfortunately 'man-flu' caught up with me on Thursday morning and I had to give the hill a miss.
Kate enjoying some wide bridging on a snowy Hidden Chimney.
Conditions in the Northern coires are unusual at the moment, the lower slabbier sections of the buttress' are buried making the climbing technically easier but with very little gear. the steeper sections have some very usefull ice but again gear is hard won.