Sunday, 8 March 2020


Lovely snow conditions 
Jenny and Iain out with me for 4 days of winter walking fun in the Cairngorms. It was a very pleasant day for our first day out. Much nicer than forecasted with excellent sunny periods, mostly in the morning.
Coire an t-sneachda 
The wet and mild spell of weather yesterday changed to cooler and drier this morning with freezing levels dropping down to around 700m. This had consolidated the snowpack on most aspects. Some excellent walking conditions, still a few areas with a breakable crust.

Cutting steps
We walked into Coire an t-sneachda and after running through some self arrests and self belay we moved onto cutting steps. It was time for crampons shortly after. Great snow conditions up to Windy Col.
In the sun

Mess of Potage
The winds weren't too bad once we gained the plateau. The sun was out in full force on the plateau.  As the winds weren't that bad and nice views we headed over to the Hells Lum area for a fine picnic spot and views to Loch A'an.
Sunny and good snow cover

Lunchtime views

Loch A'an still ice covered
After luncheon we faced the SW winds and walked up to Cairn Lochan summit. Good firm snow lead onto an icy plateau at the top. Great cramponing terrain. Nice views  at the top.
Big cornice at Hells Lum

Lovely snow cover

The cliffs of Coire an Lochain 
Only a few very brief snow showers and some drifting snow as we made our descent into Coire an Lochain. Completely deserted here and peaceful with just a lone ptarmigan and my lone Mountain Hare.
Firm snow at the Twin Burns

A frozen Lochain 
Another benign day forecast for most of tomorrow.  Nice to come home dry last few days. Long may it continue :)

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