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Bit of a catch up from the last couple of weeks!
Stob Coire Nan Lohan, Saturday 3rd February
Rich headed up into SCNL with John and Simon on the Saturday with things improving to give better forecast conditions. A little light snow disappeared and though the cloud was sitting almost to the base of the corrie there was no wind so climbing was pretty pleasant. There were teams all over and most things seemed to be in climbable if not good conditions. We opted for Moonshadow which exits rightwards from Twisting Gully Right Hand after the first pitch. The first pitch was a bit short on ice in places having suffered some hacking. Things improved higher up but there was still some fairly variable ice but the turf was pretty good and the final pitch especially was very enjoyable even with the rather ‘soft’ exit.
By pure coincidence Kev arrived with Becca and blasted up Twisting Gully in double quick time as we were about to embark on pitch 2 of Moonshadow. Although things seemed to be well frozen by and large the conditions felt quite warm probably aided by the lack of wind.
Stob Coire Nan Lohan, Sunday 4th February
Our plan A of heading home via Ben Dorian or Beinn Udlaidh were abandoned given the rising temperatures so it was back to SCNL again as a relatively quick hit. We headed to Ordinary route over by Scabbard Chimney – the later getting a couple of ascents in fairly thin conditions low down. Ordinary route itself was a bit thin on the first pitch but then having forgotten the guide book we drifted too far left and ended up on easy ground. Still a lovely sunny day out
Laithach Sunday 11th February
With a bit of a mixed forecast Kev and Rich opted to ‘go for it’ a bit from Aviemore with a 4am ‘alpine’ start to get to Torridon with a Plan A of Ben Eighe and Plan B Laithach and Poachers Fall. With the roads being icy and seemingly un-gritted in a few places the travel time meat that Plan A was abandoned but Plan B looked good with Poachers looking in fine nick from the valley. Gearing up beneath the route it was looking fat and well formed but a small avalanche to our right with a similar aspect to the bowl at the top of the route and deteriorating weather with more snow and wind forecast had us making the difficult decision to abandon the plan – it’ll be there for a while unless we get a turbo thaw.
Coire an t-Sneachda 12th February
A late start after the previous days shenanigans saw us arriving with the upper car park full so a bit of extra exercise to walk in from the bottom car park. Bright sunshine but windy meant it was pretty chilly especially later on on the plateau. Neither of us had done Fluted Buttress Direct so this was an obvious choice. The route proved to be excellent – a little like an alpine gulotte and not as hard to protect as rumour had suggested – in fact it was more than adequately protected when you needed it.
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