The summit of Ben Macdui

The summit of Ben Macdui

Yesterday John, Tom, James, Alfie, Zoe and I walked in toward t’sneachda to go over steep ground stuff including: ice axe arrests, bucket seats, bollards and confidence roping. We managed to do this on the East flank of the Fiacail Ridge where there is enough snow at a reasonable angle to make things work. It rained on and off all day with most of us going through at least two pairs of gloves. The forecast storm force winds didn’t materialize though which has been a theme over the last week or so, maybe the forecasters are trying to put us off?! Looking at the dirty debris that has fallen down Aladdin’s Couloir it wouldn’t surprise me.

Today I was out on my own so made speedy travel from the Ciste car park over to Ben Macdui before turning around, contouring the top of Cairn Lochain and descending the Fiacail Ridge. No records broken here but I was back at the van in a respectable 5 hours and the journey involved following my compass for at least 3 of those. The snow is very soft and slushy with the freezing level sitting way above the summits; it was even raining on top of Macdui. Again the wind was pushing about 45mph but certainly no sign of the 70’s we were led to expect  and I even got some sunshine on the return leg! The only folk I bumped into all day were ascending the Fiacail Ridge otherwise I didn’t see a soul.

My view for most of the day meant a good classroom

My view for most of the day meant a good classroom

Sunshine!

Soft and droopy looking snow at the top of Coire an Lochain

Soft and droopy looking snow at the top of Coire an Lochain

Large sections of the plateau are now bare

Large sections of the plateau are now bare

Tomorrow looks like more of the same but a cold front is expected on Thursday so it could be a busy weekend…..