Tuesday, 10 February 2015


The Shelterstone Crag
Start of Castlegates Gully, fab snow conditions
A lovely long grade I route aamongst stunning scenery
The approch into the Loch Avon basin, Hells Lum looking fantastic
Gully delights
The white spots near the chopper are petrified ptarmigan!
Loch Avon basin
Cairn Toul & Angels Peak (Sgur an Lochan Uaine)
Once again the Cairngorms got the best of the weather today. Wall to wall blue skies, light winds, shades and even better the snow is fantastic! Castlegates Gully lies in a wonderful setting next to The Sheltersone Crag. Remote, beautiful scenery, a big route, all the things I look for for a special day out. Quickly leaving the crowds at the Coire Cas ski centre I ventured over the plateau in  stunning sunny skies. I like to approach The Loch Avon basin from the Garbh Uisge and drop down from here. This route you get fab views of Hells Lum on the descent. Amazing snow in the basin and its firming up nicely, no more leg breaking snow! The scenery just gets better and better as you approach the foot of the gully. Snow is fantastic with an overnight freeze and it was wonderful cramponing all the way up. No cornice issues. I left late morning and was busy photographing on the approach which meant a 5pm finish at the top of the route. Another beautiful sunset back along the plateau. These are days to treasure. More to come over the next few days! Enjoy!

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