I met up with Ben and Marc yesterday morning in Aviemore ready for a weekend of winter climbing, the forecast wasn't exactly great but we thought we'd go and have a look. We managed to get into coire an t'sneachda with a few other teams but it was wild. We managed to get Ben moving around in his crampons for the first time and looked at a bit of climbing movement on some of the bulges around the flat ice and then got a couple of easier pitches of climbing done at the foot of 0.5 gully.
The forecast for today was a little more promising and the guys had proved that they could handle the wild stuff so we headed into the coire again but this time for a route. We managed to get on Hidden chimney, which gave Marc the opportunity to lead a couple of pitches and then I took over for the last two. The route had some useful turf and a bit of ice but with the wind blowing most of the snow off the crag it was still very rocky today but well protected.
The wind did pick up as the day went on and it was snowing heavily as we walked out but the crags are looking white at the moment, with frozen turf and the approaches to Mess of pottage, Aladdin's and Fluted buttress were still clear of new snow. The gully's are thin at the moment but there is lots of ice around and if you were planning on heading that way I would add a couple of screws onto your rack.
A lean Jacobs ladder.
Looking back down the crux chimney.