Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Monday, 17 January 2011

17-01-11, Hell's Lum, Cairngorms - Winter Climbing

Carn Etchachan and Shelter Stone from Coire Domhain.

Today is the first day since Wednesday (5 days ago) that the freezing level has been below the summits. Lots of snow has disappeared but there is still plenty in the Cairngorms. Today I was climbing with Gary and Kath, it was a beautiful, sunny day. We headed over the back to see what the climbs were like in the Loch Avon Basin. There is still ice about on Hell's Lum crag, however it is very slushy and dripping, it will need a few more days of freezing weather to make it ace. We climbed Hell's Lum, III (photo - right). Slushy snow covered ice pitch to start, but all climbable. Lots of teams climbing in Corrie an t-Snechada, the buttresses aren't completely black, Aladdin's Mirror direct is still there. All snow that is around is very hard and icy, Goat Track and summits very hard. Weather forecast is for freezing level to stay at 600m and for nice clear days so its time to have it!

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