After a Christmas & New Year of Kayaking, cycling and helping friends clearing up after the floods at home in Kendal I had a few days up in Scotland this week.
On Tuesday I was out on the Ben with Dave & Stu who ably guided me up Central Right Hand on Creag Coire na Ciste whilst I fed in a few hints & tips to help them prepare for their MIC assessments later this winter. Conditions were leanish but what was there was good snow & ice to climb. Only a little cloud and no wind but earlier wind had scoured the exit of fresh snow. There were not many parties on the hill and most of these folk seemed to be aspirant MIC’s making use of current MIC’s they knew for a bit of extra training!
Kenny drove over from Inverness to join me on Wednesday and we climbed Thompson’s route finishing up the Direct finish to Number 3 Gully Buttress. The crux slot on pitch 1 was rather entertaining as the snow at the bottom was not built up and the ice did not come down far from the top so it was ‘thrutch and teeter’ for some way. Friends John & John had a good day on Central RH. Other teams were out in the area, those on Green Gully reported soft ice hidden under fresh snow.
On Thursday the two John’s and myself headed across to the Cairngorms for a shorter day before driving back South. A quick solo up the Fiacaill a Coire an t Sneachda ridge was enjoyable if somewhat cold in a biting NW wind. The descent down the Cas ridge was entirely on Snow with not a rock to be seen, unusual for January. The Ski Touring looks to be superb and probably the better choice than climbing currently. So why am I off abroad? Hopefully it will be even better when I get back.