Sunday, 23 January 2011

Curved Ridge, Buachaille Etive Mor - 22nd January 2011

We had a great day on the Buachaille. The weather was much better than forecast and the day was well worth the early start. Simply stunning. There didn't appear to be much snow from this angle, but appearances can be deceptive!

Jeanie above the first steep section of the ridge. In the far background the sun is shining over the Mamores and the Grey Corries. A beautiful day.

As we continue up the ridge the exposure increases.

Jeanie arriving at the 'lunching spot' on Curved Ridge. In the background is Beinn a'Chrulaiste where Elke was compleating her round of the Corbets along with other members of the Ochils Mountaineering Club.

Stuart contemplates the next steep section ahead. If you look closely other climbers can be spotted 2/3 of the way up.

Stuart working his way up the steep section, this part is perhaps the crux of the route.

A view over to Beinn a'Chrulaiste. If the picture is expanded you can just see the last Corbet party for Elke's compleation.

Looking down the ridge to Jeanie. Other climbers can be seen just below Jeanie and also further down the ridge.

Nearly there. On the final slopes leading to the summit of the Buachaille.

Jeanie on the summit of the Buachaille. The clouds are starting to thicken up but still superb views all around.

Stuart looking towards the Ben and the Aonachs whilst on the descent down Coire na Tulaich.

Dumyat - 9th January 2011

We were up early and our intention was to climb at Ben Udlaidh. However, the roads were in a poor condition with snow and ice particularly from Dunblane northwards. We turned back at Callander and headed home. It was a lovely day so we salvaged it with a walk up Dumyat in the Ochils. The picture below shows the view North-West from the summit of Dumyat.

Can you spot Jeanie?

The view South-East over the Forth Estuary.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Goat Track Gully, Coire an t-Sneachda - 2nd January 2011

Sunday was a much colder day than the previous Friday, everything was well iced up. This picture was taken close to the entrance of the coire. As you can see the rocks are well iced up with hoar frost and visibility poor, the climbing crags should be visible behind me (Jeanie on camera as well as belay duty!).

We had problems locating the routes after gearing up. Our intention was to climb Spiral Gully, but I couldn't identify it so went for Goat Track Gully hoping to locate it and also hoping there would be no queues as the crags were very busy. The picture below shows me heading up to Goat Track Gully, a grade II winter climb.

Suddenly the weather clears and all becomes apparent. I'm in the right place thankfully and no queues. Lots of other climbers suddenly become visible on a variety of routes, particularly busy is Fingers Ridge.

On the first pitch of climbing. The ice was solid though a little brittle in places. Not as much build up of snow as I was expecting, but great climbing conditions. The crux at the top of this pitch gave me some exciting moments as the rope got snagged in some ice. Thankfully Jeanie was able to unsnag the rope.

Heading up the second pitch.

On top of the plateau and coiling the rope after a great climb. Some good views to the south over Coire Domhain.

Fiacaill Ridge, Coire an t-Sneachda - 31st December 2010

We were on our way up to mum's in Buckie for the new year when we decided to go for a climb in the Cairngorms. It turned out to be a windy day with poor visility. The snow lower down was well frozen on top but with soft snow underneath the frozen crust. Higher up the snow was soft and thawing. We decided on climbing the Fiacaill Ridge as seen below. However, due to the strong gusting wind we didn't climb the ridge direct and skirted past the narrow sections. Great to be in the mountains again.

The Cairngorms skiing was proving very popular with large numbers on the slope. The picture below shows some of the main runs and also the busy funicular railway, this was late afternoon. In the morning we were too late for parking in the upper car park and had to park lower down, but at least there were shuttle buses which saved a walk up the road.