Monday, December 18, 2006

General Northern Cairngorms report

Was out and about today climbing with Tim Blakemore and here is what i saw... Sneachda is much Blacker than Lochain, The mess o pottage looks the blackest where as Fiacaill Buttress seemed the whitest. There is snow ice in most of the easy gullies and there was a line of white in Red Gully, but i can't comment on the quality. There is a very very thin Alladins Mirror Direct; its not there yet! The Goat track is an accident waiting to happen - it is really icy and a slip would be unrecoverable - this is the case with lots of places, icy old snow above nasty boulder fields. We went up the goat track and into loch Avon and over to Carn Etchachan. The shelter stone is mostly rock boot territory and it needs a lot more snow for Sticil Face to form up. Carn Etchachan is better but not awesome. The rocks are not rimed up till the top of the crag but the turf and ledges are holding snow and the turf is excellent and water saturated. We climbed Scorpion and found the crux a hard V or easy VI in current conditions (it's ice snow and mixed at the crux at the moment rather than ice). However there is absolutely no cornice to worry about. Hells Lum is holding good ice on its right hand side and these lines may be climbable at the moment if a little tricky perhaps for the guidebook grade.
If anyone finds my Terminator Crampons that fell off my 'sac between the top of Scorpion and the top of the Goat Track i'd love them back!

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