Sunday, 28 February 2016

CAIRNGORM ALPINE WEEKEND, DAY 2

Simon & Karen enjoying the sunshine again
Fiacaill Buttress
Sunrise over Sneachda
Snow shelters
In the shade from the sun
Windy Col - Hot Col
Mess of Pottage
Shades, sun & smiles
Alpine Sneachda
And the Alpine Adventure in the Cairngorms continues! Day two for Karen and Simon on their mini Cairngorm Alpine Weekend. It was even warmer today once the sun rose over Coire an t-sneachda. It was like an oven at the Moraines where we dug various forms of snow shelters. These are used for emergencies from blizzards and sheltering from exposure to cold but today they came in very useful for some shelter from the blistering heat! After lunch we moved on up to the slopes up to Windy Col. Stunning scenery in an Alpine wonderland. We dug various types of snow anchores and some rope work for steep ground. The sun was blistering at this point! How many days do we get like this? How lucky are these guys in getting two days like this? On the way down from 1141m we finally got some sliding and axe arresting into the course. A  skill low down on the list  for being safe in the winterhlls, IMHO! A fab couple of days and great company. Cheers guys.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

ALPINE CAIRNGORMS, BEST WINTER DAY.......SO FAR

Karen & Simon enjoying the Alpine ridge
We had it to ourselves!
This bit looks hard
Just fabulous
It was getting hot here!
Count the climbers in Sneachda, lots!
Fiacaill Buttress
Full cover on the plateau
Summit celebrations
Perfect snow
On the top
More rime ice fun
What a day! Clear skies, wall to wall sun, hardly a breeze, cold then hot. Alpine kind of day in The Cairngorms. Return clients Simon & Karen are out with me this weekend on their winter skills course. They came out with me last Autumn and we had a beautiful weather day on the Fiacaill Ridge. Today we were in the same place but under a fabulous winter coat. We had the place to ourselves. Stunningly beautiful Alpine kind of day after a very cold start. Loads of climbers in Sneachda but we had solitude on the ridge and enjoyed the stunning scenery at a leisurely pace. We went through some basic movement skills lower down the hill before tackling the fun Fiacaill. Just perfect. More clear skies and Alpine conditions tomorrow, I can hear the bells ringing in the meadows!

Friday, 26 February 2016

STUNNING WEATHER & SNOW CONDITIONS

Early morning light on the Fiacaill Ridge
Here we go
Deserted Ridge
Sun coming up
Well rimed pinnicles
Stunning light
Keep looking back for the views!
Cairn Lochan & Sgor Gaoithe
Sneachda
Towers of Rime
Coire an Lochain from the ridge
CairnGorm & Sneachda
We are in a lovely period of the winter season were the weather is kind and settled and the snow conditions just wonderful, at last! I had an early morning wander up onto the Fiacaill Ridge again. Breakfasting on the start of the ridge proper. I didn't see a soul from leaving the carpark until reaching the top of Cairn Lochan. Clarity was superb today, I could see far to the North West and even the far north! The photos will say it all I guess! If you're thinking of heading up to the Highlands - do it! This weekend will be superb with the fine weather holding until early next week.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

STEEP GROUND & NAVIGATION

Sue & John enjoying the views
More fresh snow on the Fiacaill
Dodgy looking cornices over Hells Lum
Excellent hard snow
Cairngorm plateau, looks like the Arctic
More rime
Happy winter walkers
No views today
But better over at Loch Avon
Sun desperately trying to break through over Hells Lum
John enjoying the atmospheric snow
Sue & John were out with me today for a recap on some winter skills and a day out in The Cairngorms. They have previously been on a winter course so were looking for a refresher day and some confidence to get out under their own steam. Despite a good looking weather forecast with a promise of clear skies and sun we got neither. It has been very cold overnight and well below freezing on the higher tops. There had been a few fresh cm's of snow overnight and rime ice had grown since yesterday. We headed up onto the Fiacaill ridge after a run down on axe and crampons lower down the hill. After the Fiacaill we had an afternoon of navigation. It was poor visibility on the plateau for much of the time. We headed over toward Hells Lum and got the best views of the day. Full snow cover on the plateau so good conditions for ski touring I would say. We had the rest of the day to ourselves and it resembled the Arctic has we navigated back down to the Northern Corries. Another top day in the freezer.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

ANOTHER CALM, COLD DAY IN THE CAIRNGORMS

Fabulous snow conditions on the ridge
Cloud breaking up at the top
Fun on the Fiacaill
Good snow cover
Ski tourers on the plateau
Pete
Full snow cover on the plateau

Mountain Hare at last!
Sun in the afternoon
A beautiful end to the day
We were once again blessed with another nice, calm, cold, dry and sunny day here in The Cairngorms. It was a fun day out with Pete & Lynne, we were up on the Fiacaill Ridge, along with many, many other folk out in front of us. We hung back and by the time we got up to the fun bit we had the rest of the fine ridge to ourselves. A cloudy, very cold morning but the cloud slowely lfted and by mid afternoon we had some lovely sunshine. A great covering of firm, hard, scoured snow on a lo of aspects making for great walking and climbing conditions. Still drifts and wind slab in some areas so as always check the avalanche forecasts for the latest conditions. A grand day out. Tomorrow is looking superb, clear skies and extra cold!
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