Sunday, 21 February 2016

HIGH WINDS & CHILLS ON THE FIACAILL

Ruxi making it look easy
Excellent, hard snow-avoiding the windslab
Higher and easier
Wind scoured
We had the ridge to ourselves
Perfectly timed for the best views
After that, it's back to this
A rare blue sky view at the end
Top day out on the Fiacaill Ridge with Ruxi today. For her second day out we hoped to get higher and further than yesterday and get a good hill day in with lots of axe, crampon, steep ground and avalanche awareness included. Well some may say that just staying upright and getting any distance at all would be an achievement in today's harsh wind and cold conditions. Ruxi did brilliantly, many would have turned back after a short while. The snow gates were open up to Coire Cas so we got onto the big hills and the Fiacaill Ridge was a very good option in the current avalanche conditions. Ridges and buttresses are always the safer option when things are looking orange and red on the pie chart. It was very breezy heading up the ridge but we battled on up and when we got to the 'fun' bits, the place was deserted, we enjoyed the solitude all the way to the top. Great snow conditions, refrozen, hard snow and rimed rocks. The western side of the pinnacles was well scoured and windblown so fab cramponing along here. Ruxi took over with the navigation to get down off the hill, near white out at times and strangely there was hardly any winds on the plateau. From Windy Col and down from 1141m it was breezy again and more windchill to finish off the day nicely. Ruxi informed me at the end of her two days with me that she learnt far more and got lots more out of the course than the previous 5 Day winter skills course she enrolled on with another provider last year. :) Top day and great company.
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