Wednesday, 16 March 2016


Looking across to the Fiacaill Ridge from Point Five Gully
Sunrise over Sneachda
Fiacaill Buttress with Point Five to the far left
Looking across to The Goat Track
Top of Point Five and Coire an t-Sneachda
Loch Avon and Shelterstone Crag
Shelterstone Crag
Hells Lum
Sneachda again
The fine, settled conditions continued today with some of the best weather we have enjoyed all winter. Clear skies above a 500m top Temperature Inversion in Strathspey today. Light winds, warm sun but a colder night left a good icy crust on the steep slopes in Coire an t-Sneachda this morning. Even with a lazy 10am start the snowpack was still nice and crusty. The coire was quiet and I headed up Point Five Gully (not the famous one on Ben Nevis!). This is a great way onto the Cairngorm plateau and I had it all to myself, as is usually the case. It doesn't make it to an official Grade I Gully in climbing guide books, hence the name? But today the final 50m to the plataeu was definitely 45-50 degrees. On the top it was sunbathing conditions again. I wandered over the plateau, past the snow holes in Coire Domhain and down into the loch Avon basin for even more solitude and stunning scenery. The finest spot in The Cairngorms (IMHO). Full snowcover all the way down to 800m. A lot of cornice collapse activity on Hells Lum with the warm sun directly on these slopes. I took a direct line up, following the Garbh Uisge back up to the plateau, the snow here was just perfect and of course those fantastic views. Another brilliant Alpine day, the cowbells were definitely heard down in the meadows! More of this kind of stuff up to the weekend, get it while you can!

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