Friday, 25 November 2016

First days out of winter 2016/17

Morning 'Alpen-glow' on Fiacaill Buttress
Sun rise over the tops

An early morning rise saw Mark and I walking in with head torches to a deserted Cairngorms.  Never have I stood in the Northern Corries to see that no one else was around.  Were the conditions bad or were we just unnecessarily early?
Mark questing up the second pitch
Mint weather

We heard that the snow was going to be hard to walk on, deep snow with a semi-hard crust.  Despite this, we opted to go for a long walk 'over the back' onto Carn Etchachan.  Having never climbed here I was super keen and Mark agreed quite easily.  So with it being my first route of the season, we opted for The Guillotine (V,6).
Mark trying to find the chock stone on the crux

We walked to the top of the route as it climbs the upper tier of Carn Etchachan and descended down the slopes to the right (facing out). We traversed in to the start.  The climbing was excellent.  Lovely Cairngorm granite, good hooks, good gear and plenty of turf.  Not to mention the spacious belay ledges.  A quality day out and back to the car before it was dark.
Here he's Maaarrrrkkk Chadwick!!!!
Mike linking the snow and ice
With the following day free and superb weather I drove down to Ben Nevis and met Mike at a more sociable hour and we walked into the North Face.  Unfortunately the snow had been blown off the rocks leaving them very black and in our eye's, out of condition.  No steep climbing for us today.  So instead we climbed a mountaineering route which I had never done before.  The brilliant Pinnacle Ridge (IV,5) on Trident Buttress.  I had always eyed it up and I feel it might become a bit of a favourite of mine when at work...shhhh....don't tell anyone!

Stella day

Alpine conditions

Doesn't get much better than this!
More pictures HERE

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