Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Skiing and Climbing in the Cairngorms

The snow pack has melted and refrozen and greatly stabilised in the Cairngorms. Melt- freeze grains characterize much of the pack, but an icy crust has formed that will present a very nasty sliding layer when the new snow comes in the next few days. Keep an eye on the SAIS forecasts which are beginning tomorrow i believe.
The crags of the Northern Corries and the Loch Avon basin are extremely verglassed and the steeper sections of the crags were mostly black, but have begun to rime up a bit. The turf is excellent.
The ski touring was pretty hard work in that the very icy surface of the snow was a pain to skin on and required a lot of concentration to ski on (especially when your edges were needing sharpening!)
I have again been skiing into and out of routes and have really enjoyed the speed of access (and retreat!). It isn't too difficult to climb ice in ski boots, why i wonder do more folk not do this?
The picture shows the build up of ice on Hells Lum as of Tuesday afternoon.

1 comment:

James Dunn said...

Hi James,

I was hoping you could help with some condition forecasting; I was hoping to get out climbing on Liatach and Beinn Bahn early next week, hopefully Silver Tear and Poachers Fall but I am not sure if these routes require more than a good freeze? I was up on Liatach last summer but didn't get the chance to look into the coire to see where/what the source was. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, obviously if there is a tonne of snow this weekend we will go somewhere low lying and shorter but it looks like it could be consistently cold for the next week so it would be awesome to get some climbing done in the NW.

Also I can't quite make out in your shot of Hell's Lum but it looks like The Chancer is a way off yet? I don't suppose you noticed if Sticil Face had ice in the corner either?

As I said any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Hope you have a great winter.

All the best,