Monday, 22 January 2018


Heading up Windy Col
Alladin's Couloir

Windy Col area
Axe arresting
Busy on Mess of Potage
Still good snow cover
Visibility on plateau 

The temperatures rose today and we even had a bit of rain at lower altitudes, the first time for a while. Overall it was a dry day in The Cairngorms but a strong wind on the tops. The SW's have arrived but the summit temperatures were still below freezing. The crags are still rimed and plenty of great snow cover. Unfortunately this looks like changing next day of so with temperatures going up again. Shame as the snow conditions have improved with consolidation taking place and easier walking. Final day with Carol on here 4 Day Winter Skills Course. It's very satisfying watching my clients progress day after day. Carol is now well acclimatised to the Cairngorm winds and cold. She even commented that it was warm today! She gained lots of essential skills and her confidence has grown since day 1. We were hoping to have another day up on the Fiacaill Ridge but the winds were gusting above 50mph across the slopes today. We backed off and instead had a hour of Ice axe arresting (stopping a slip/fall). This is , of course, the last ditch attempt to save your self from a mistake in axe and crampon/footwork placement. It is low down on the 'skills' of winter mountaineering. After our wee session of sliding we headed into Coire an t-Sneachda to see if the winds were any better. It was almost calm in the coire so we headed up to Windy Col. The snow on these slopes is excellent. Great cramponing and good cover. Plenty of folk out climbing on the Mess of Potage. Near Windy Col it was a bit breezy but then as always it was fine on the plateau area. A fine end to 4 top days with Carol. Couple of days off for me after another long 10 day back to back stint. Winter continues.....

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