Friday, 23 October 2009

Julie on BBC's Mastermind!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A Golden Autumn Gem of a weekend

The good forecast for Friday and Saturday saw us packing the lightweight camping and scrambling kit. We headed up from Cairngorm and over a freezing and misty Ben MacDui plateau to Coire Sputan Dearg all wrapped up to climb the classic Crystal Ridge (Diff). At this point we had every stitch of spare clothing on and were wondering whether climbing and camping out at almost 4,000 feet was such a good idea! Fortunately as we descended the loose glissade gully the skies cleared and the sun shone. After topping out from our three star climb we walked down to our spectacular nights high camp at Loch Etchachan. Clear skies and sparkling stars meant a frosty start on Saturday. However our east facing climbs on Creagan A' Choire Etchachan get the sun from first light and it was surprisingly hot and I really mean HOT! It could have been climbed in a t-shirt and shorts and several of the classic routes such as Talisman were completely bone dry too!! We climbed Quartzvein Edge (Mod) in the golden Autumn sunshine before heading back over to our sunny camp for lunch. As it was such a good day we took the most scenic route back. We walked down to the Shelterstone taking lots of photos and videos and then around Loch Avon before heading back up Coire Raibert and over Cairngorm homeward. A couple of classic Autumn days and two gems in the bag...
Where was everyone? Despite the excellent climbing conditions especially on Saturday we didn't see any other climbers about apart from on Pine Tree Route, Stag Rocks. YouTube videos of the weekend later this week....!
Sunday, 11 October 2009

Warmer again next week - think!!

The forecast seem to be changing by the hour so see for the latest updates...
Thursday, 8 October 2009

Getting colder again

On Wednesday the hills were again completely clear of snow though it felt fresh up at the Farr windfarm near Slochd (the wind turbines are absolutely massive and can clearly be seen from Cairngorm and the A9).
This morning we had another frost and dusting of snow on the Cairngorm tops so we took a walk into the northern corries and met Santa's reindeer feeding on moss and preparing for Christmas.
It looks like winter is again on it's way with overnight frosts over the next few nights and some snow on the Cairngorms being forecast by the weekend. From Monday onwards it looks like high pressure is building with fine dry weather forecast and summit temperatures staying subzero during the day..


Sunday, 4 October 2009

Winter is arriving snow on Cairngorm and Spain is booked...!

According to the MWIS weather forecast and the BBC it looks like we will have some more snow on the hills over the coming week. The top photo shows the snow cover in the Cairngorm Ski area this Sunday. Whether it will be wintry enough for some early season mixed routes remains to be seen - well here! On most routes the turf need to freeze well first BTW. Fingers crossed for a decent buildup and another good early winter season. Last year was a cracker with many of the gully lines in good nick by November and December.
We've now updated our course dates page and the places on the Winter Mountaineering courses are starting to fill up.
Since returning from the alps we've been busy catching up on admin, paying the bills, guiding and booking our November Hot Rock flights to Spain and our January Cold Ice flights to La Grave...!
The blog has been rather neglected recently but this will soon change now that we've got a new 1,000 GB hard drive for all the recent photos and video clips.
I've posted a few contrasting photos from September. Fi climbing on the Via Cord Alpina with the Dru in the background also one of Ken on the summit of Grande Paradiso and last week Darren and Anja learning some alpine ropework on a misty wet Fiacaill Ridge...!
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