Thursday, 20 October 2011

Another quick route before the thaw (posted by James)

In my opinion the first rule of Scottish winter climbing is "get it while you can". So after having my appetite wetted by Ledge Route on tuesday I was determined to get in one more route before the promised thaw this evening.

When snow arrives at this time of year options are extremely limited, and doubly so for soloing. So despite having climbed it many times before, Dorsal Arete was my route of choice today.

Good to be walking in to a climb in the dark and snow again

I came across the first slushy snow just before entering Coire nan Lochan, and it remained slushy up until almost the level of the arete itself. I was slightly surprised to find Broad Gully completely full of snow, although all very soft and it would have been extremely hard work to ascend or descend.

A complete Broad Gully

Dorsal Arete itself was in acceptable condition, although with no frozen turf, soft snow and a fair few loose blocks around. Hopefully I didn't cause any problems for Jamie Bankhead who climbed it about an hour later!

Dorsal Arete today

It's all melting now, and by the look of the forecast most if not all the new snow will be gone very soon. But It feels great to have got out in the snow again, and to have dusted off the axes and crampons again. Hopefully in 3 or 4 weeks there'll be more snow, and fingers crossed it'll be back with intent.


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