Tuesday, 3 January 2017


A sorry looking Mess of Pottage

Bucket and Axe  belay

Awkward boulders up to Jacobs Ladder

Italian Hitch

Axe arresting

No ice today

Alladins Buttress, Sneachda

Snow belays
Hard snow for step cutting
Not for the first time this winter did the temperatures rise from well below freezing to well above freezing in 24 hours. It was a bit soggy in The Cairngorms today. John out with me again on his second day winter course. Snow at lower altitudes had disappeared overnight. The snow pack now above 800m and very moist. There was still some ice up high in Coire an Sneachda and there seemed to be bits of frozen stuff on the crags but melting fast. A few parties were hopeful climbing on Mess of Pottage, much  crampons on rock I would guess! We made the most of the conditions we had and moved our way up below Mess of Pottage. It was quite awkward over the boulders with the diminishing snow pack. John was keen to get some more experience on steep ground and some rope work for future trips in the greater ranges. We didn't need crampons today, no frozen snow or turf about where we where. The light rain came on after mid day and it became a bit soggy. On the bright side, the winds were light but I guess it would have been a tad blowy on the tops today. We finished off the day with some sliding and ice axe arresting just to get that overall real wet feeling. A good day to test out the waterproofs. Keep the faith, it is forecast a much colder day tomorrow with lowering freezing levels and we may even get some sunshine!

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