Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cairngorms, Winter Skills

Leaving the Corrie via the moraines 

Pygmy and Fingers ridge, looks like winter to me ! 

The Mirror looking lean but ice forming 

Crampon practice

I was out with a team of 8 on the first day of a winter skills course. We headed into a unusually quiet Sneactda under blue skies and light breeze which makes a nice change from the recent stormy weather. There was certainly a lack of snow in the area which will have been affecting the ski area but in the corrie we found enough to use for various skills. It felt very much like winter with any snow being rock solid and plenty of ice around. The crags where very quiet with some teams on Fingers and Red Gully, Spirlal and the Runnel. There was also one team in Jacobs Ladder which seemed an odd choice given it had no snow in it and its a grade 1 gully. For mixed climbing conditions looked very good perhaps icy in the cracks but well rimed and looking pretty much the right color for the season. Looks like the nice weather should hold for a bit.