Friday, 26 March 2010
Another aquatic adventure
Another clagged, muggy day! Since it looks like today may have been our last opportunity to get on the hill for some time, James and I packed rope, axes and crampons and plodded in the rain up to Coire nan Lochan. Our intention was to look at the ice gullies. Twisting and SC are unclimbable in their present state, the cruxes black and stripped of ice, but there is a chance SC may come back into condition if it gets cold again (I doubt Twisting will).
We climbed the slope up to the start of NC Gully to have a look. The snow was sugary and thawing although relatively firm underneath the slushy top surface. Huge cornices still menace some areas of the cliff although others have fallen down (there has been substantial melting even since Wednesday).
NC Gully is still fairly well banked-out with snow. However, there was significant stonefall coming down all the time, it was raining hard, the snow was of poor quality, and we could hear water running in the gully bed. We decided to run away.
If / when the refreeze comes, these easy gullies will be in superb condition, but at the moment they are only really a realistic goal early in the morning after a cold night.
Photos from today