Great to be out in the winter hills

Great to be out in the winter hills

Its been a long wait this year but now it seems winter has finally arrived. Whilst enduring this years wait for the white stuff I have been out bagging Munros with the dog and making time to visit family and friends, but today was the day to kick start the season off.

Kev and I had a few things in mind but as it so often happens nothing materialised. We took a wee look about and eventually settled on a cracked chimney on the right wall of North Gully in Coire na Ciste. It wasn’t in our guidebook but thought it looked like fun so set off in the hope of a new route. We climbed it in 4 pitches at around (**)IV,5. Despite being high up on the Ben there wasn’t much in the way of consolidated snow so it felt a little ‘shakey’ hooking blocks we weren’t sure were attached.

**Turns out we climbed the line of The Gift (III,4) which is an ice smear on the right wall of North Gully. No ice today which made it a fun mixed climb – IV,5.

Kev leading the first pitch

Kev leading the first pitch

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Other teams from Glenmore Lodge were out trying their best to salvage something, Chadders looked at four different routes, none were in good enough condition just yet. So, yes the white stuff is here but things are still loose and pretty unstable at the moment. The storms due this week will help to consolidate the existing snow and by the looks of it there is going to be a heavy dump some point soon.

Amazing light on the walk out

Amazing light on the walk out