|John enjoying the icy conditions in Coire an Lochain|
|Movement on steep ground|
|Moe like winter|
|A lean looking Jacobs Ladder|
|Gear needed today|
Happy New Year! Lets hope the winter is now fully with us. So far this season the temperatures and snow cover as been up and down like a yo-yo. Yesterday we had continuous snow showers with cold temperatures and high winds. That left The Cairngorms looking more like a January day today. With snow down to low levels and very low temperatures, -5 on the summits today.
John is out with me on a 2 day course. He has some winter experience already and wanting to build on this for some big mountains in South America. We headed into Coire an Lochain, which was heavy going once off the main trodden path. By late morning the cloud base had dropped to below 800m. We headed high onto the cliffs to the west of the main climbing area and found some excellent icy terrain and steep ground. After traversing over to the ridge we headed on up to the plateau. Here the visibility was pretty poor and the winds had increased, along with some light snow showers. It made for some challenging walking in the cold NW winds. There was a couple of folk following us down to the top of the Goat Track. As me and John were chatting at the Cairn the two guys behind is asked 'do you know where the Goat Track is' They were in luck! Their map was buried inside their rucksack, apparently. As we headed over the plateau they were following us again. Sensible chaps! A good day to be out and nice to feel real Scottish winter conditions in your face again!