Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Thursday, 20 January 2011

20-01-11, Lochnagar, Cairngorms - Winter Climbing

Northern Cairngorms, all snow pack frozen rock solid.

Another beautiful day in The Cairngorms. Blue skies and -7 degrees. Kathryn and myself headed over to Lochnagar. Never been to The Stuic, Coire Loch Nan Eun before so we walked the steady 9km to the base of the crag. When the mountains look so great and the weather being so pleasant, the walk didn't seem too bad, however by the time we got back my feet were aching! The cliff isn't very big, about 100m at its highest. We climbed Twilight Groove, III,4 (photo - right). I thought the grade was slightly harsh, easily grade IV maybe harder?! All snow well solid and frozen, need crampons on as soon as your on a slope. With the very low temperatures at night and during the day hoar crystals are starting to grow. They look pretty and twinkle in the sunlight, but maybe a worry if they get buried by a new layer of snow. Until then however its all go. A cheeky little bit of Munro bagging was had also, this is what we found on Carn an t-Sagairt Mor. It is the wing of a Canberra Jet which crashed in 1956.

Walking to the summit of Carn a'Choire Bhoidheach, Hoar crystals growing.

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