Monday, 6 April 2009
Coire nan Lochan today
As my brother James has recently arrived in Glencoe for the summer, but has done no walking hereabouts, we went for a wander into Coire nan Lochan for an introduction to the layout of the region. The weather was surprisingly good today, with only a little cloud hovering at about 1000m and no rain. Another surprise was the quality of the snow. The lowest snow patches were somewhat mushy, but as we moved into the coire things firmed up nicely.
Most of the easy gully lines are 'more or less' complete. Broad Gully and Forked Gully appeared fine, although it's anyone's guess what the turf is like in the middle of Forked Gully. Boomerang and NC were complete but the mixed steps appeared rocky. Buttresses are almost entirely free of snow. Dorsal Arete is probably climbable but cannot be considered in condition by any stretch of the imagination!
We walked up Broad Gully on largely excellent neve, with only the odd patch of softer snow. Clearly it had frozen overnight. The pack consisted of mostly homogeneous re-frozen grains, well bonded and consolidated. No avalanche risk whatsoever.
Upon visiting the summit we were treated to an excellent view of Bidean--looking very Alpine today--and Stob Coire nam Beith.