Friday, 10 January 2014

Red Gully and Goat Track Gully

A beautiful early morning in Coire an-t Sneachda
I only had the morning free again today, so I was back in Coire an-t Sneachda for another quick hit. Despite it being the corrie which many climbers find the most familiar, it really isn't somewhere that I've climbed many routes at all. But now that I'm living in the Cairngorms I'm keen to fill in some of the gaps.

Today the cloud had fully lifted above the tops, so I could see the full extent of just how much snow there is. Some of the routes are really buried - the bases of the trident gullies have almost merged into a uniform snow slope, the bottom half of Finger's Ridge is unrecognisable from usual and there are deep drifts on every aspect.

In the upper half of Red Gully (II/III**). One of the "fingers" of Fingers Ridge prominent on the left.

Looking towards Fiacaill Ridge
A heavily buried Finger's Ridge.

There's some big cornices about too, so after a bit of nosing around I set my eyes on Red Gully. At a guess I'd say this route is in about as easy condition as it comes right now, it is well banked out and hasn't seen that many ascents yet so the steepest section at the bottom hasn't lost any ice yet.The snow has firmed up pretty well and it was really enjoyable, and very satisfying to get it in such good condition fairly early in the season.

Red Gully to the left, Goat Track Gully goes to the right of the largest rocky blog.

Looking down Goat Track Gully.

Then a quick descent and up Goat Track Gully for seconds, which pleasantly surprised me as being a nice wee route.That's all I had time for today, but it was a great use of a morning when I couldn't get out further afield.


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