Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 29 March 2009

Windy in Sneachda!

Today myself, Gordon and Stevie made our way through the fresh snow into Coire an t-Sneachda in the vain hope of finding the gully lines in condition to climb. However after breaking trail for most of the way in , before letting three younger folks take over, it was soon becoming clear from all the spindrift cascading down the Goat Track that there would be lots of loose snow being moved around the corrie in the wind.
Coire an t-Sneachda looked stunning, but this photo doesn't show just how windy it was!

Stevie making his way up from the relative warmth of the sun into the shadows of Sneachda.

As any of the gullies seemed out of the question, we headed up below Jacobs Ladder and the Mess of Pottage to check things out. Aladdin's Couloir can just be seen top left of the photo and the Fiacaill Buttress on the right.

The Fiacaill Ridge and Buttress. We saw a couple of people on the ridge, but not many taking the most exposed line in the wind.

A couple of teams were looking for routes on the Mess of Pottage. Here two guys are checking out the Haston line, left of centre (grade III, 4). Just right of centre there are teams on the Slant which rises to the left, and in the centre you can just see a climber heading for Hidden Chimney. We headed for the edge of the rocks to the left of the Buttress and took a rising traverse up to the broken ground, top left.

Stevie and Gordon traversing below the buttress, before we roped up and pitched up to the broken ground.

Myself, struggling with the wind and a pack full of rope and metalwork!

360 view as we headed down to the ski centre.

By now the wind had increased and walking down above Coire Cas became a little challenging!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Central Gully and Crothched Gully - Sneachda

Myself, Mark and willy met Adam of Hughes Mountaineering again as we gearded up in Coire an t-Sneachda. I'm sure Adam smells food from 500m! (although he was unlucky this time). After Adam and his client set off for Central Gully, we were behind the team behind him. We pitched Central Gully and used it as prcatice for placing protection and belaying. We then dropped back down to the corrie and set off for The Runnel but it was quite busy so we settled for Crotched Gully practicing moving together (oh o!) and placing runners (ah ha), oh and a bit of gardening in the middle!
About 1 pitch from the top, we stopped using runners and I set up a belay form Mark and Willy. Crotched Gully is a grade I/II, so with the short steep (gardening) section with no snow, and a choice of steeper exits at the top, it felt about right to our limited experience.
We walked back through the incoming fog and used the wind to blow us back to car park at the ski centre.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Northern Corries

Today myself, Gordon and Willy had a great day out in Coire an t-Sneachda, with none of the crowds of last week.
Having decent weather helped, as you can see form this shot of the Fiacaill Ridge in the centre and the Goat Track on the left. We climbed Jacobs Ladder ( Gordon and Willy's, first trip up it ) as practice with the rope, placing and removing protection and belaying. Even managed a "stomper" belay at the top this time!

A deserted Jacobs Ladder with Gordon and Willy waiting to come up from the last belay point. We only saw a handful of people climb it and two of those were descending! At the top we turned right (West) and walked back along the top of the corrie, checking out the exits of any complete routes and enjoying the views.

As we walked along we passed the top of Aladdin's Couloir which was tempting to descend but there were quite a few people coming up so we decided not to get in the way

We also checked out the area at the top of Central Left Hand, Central Gully and The Runnel, with teams topping out on most of them.

Willy near the top of Aladdin's Couloir with the Fiacaill Ridge in the distance. We dropped down into the corrie just short of the Goat Track where there is a well worn path through the snow below the buttresses, right down to the stretcher box. We stayed high and had lunch in the snow bay at the start of Central Left Hand, Central Gully, The Runnel and Crotched Gully (the Trident Gullies). A couple of teams passed on their way up the various routes, so after checking the Cicerone guide book, we chose Central Gully.

Gordon climbing Central Gully, a straightforward grade 1 so we didn't rope up. Central Left Hand to our left had a team in it and looked very icy for a grade 1 with quite a fat bulge of ice that required them to get the rope out.

Willy and Gordon at the top of Central Gully, just as the snow started. We chose a line to exit at the left of the gully which was quite thin in places with grass showing through. In hindsight the right hand side may have been better, but with more snow forecast this week everything should still be in place for the weekend.

Bumped into Adam of Hughes Mountaineering in the Ski centre car park. He told us he had been over at Hell's Lum with a couple of clients, but it didn't take him long to scran some food off us!