Sandy Paterson Mountaineering

This is a blog of my personal and work climbing along with all the other things I do in the outdoors. Please feel free to have a look at my main website.

Over winter I will try and blog at the end of each week, however I will aim to tweet each day so feel free to follow me @SandyPMIC

Thursday 30 December 2010

Busy Cairngorms

It was busy at the Ski Centre yesterday, Peter and I arrived at 9.15am and were half way down the Ciste Car Park so after grabbing the shuttle bus (and leaving Laura and in a very long ski pass que) we were slightly late leaving for the hill at around 10.10am. Not to matter as the weather was great with light winds and cloud above the summits. Although not the cold the pass was well compacted so the walk into Sneachda was easy.

We headed half way in and then cut on to the Fiacaill just before the twin ribs. Peter is keen to get out to the alps climbing so the aim for today was to take in some technical ground as well and having a look at rope techniques he could use in the alps. We worked our way up onto and along the ridge looking at short roping, moving together and short pitches. Just as we headed up on the the ridge there was small patch of unstable snow but with safe travel techniques we avoided it. Once at the steepening near the end of the ridge we changed to normal pitched climbing and I lead Peter up the most direct variation. Normally a grade II pitch it actually felt a little harder yesterday as by this time everything was melting quickly so the rock was just covered by wet slushy snow!

Once on the top we headed around the corrie to 1141 and then down to the ski centre were Laura had kindly brought the van up to. It was great day and thank you to Peter for his great company for the last 3 days. I am off to the west for the 1st and 2nd to work on some Avalanche Assessment course at the Nevis Range.

Sneachda was busy yesterday and thankfully no one was caught in and sliding snow, the warm weather is slowly consolidating it. However the climbing conditions were not great, people were reporting a lot of verglass on the rocks form Tuesdays rain and all the cracks chocked with ice. Many of the cornices seemed to be slumping and I imagine if the thaw continues many will collapse.

Fingers crossed for the re freeze at the weekend.

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