Friday, 30 November 2012

back on the planks

It was going to be impossible to beat yesterday's ski, but it's nice trying.

Today, we thought that we would remain a little bit lower and decided to head over to the Lecht Ski Centre.

Couldn't believe our luck when we discovered that all the pistes had been groomed, no down tracks in place and the only other people around were the guys working hard, in preparation for tomorrow.

We started at the left hand side and literally worked our way across the pistes and then crossed the road and skied some more.  Bit thin in places but its only November so can't really complain.

The Lecht is open tomorrow for the first day of the season - wrap up warm, its going to be a cold one.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Amazing touring conditions

By far the best days are the completely unexpected.

Fran & Di went for a mini tour around the Cairngorms today - our plans changed every hour but we're girls and we can do that.

Up the Goat track, over 1176m, down into Coire Raibeirt, up to Cairn Gorm, down to Stac an Fharaidh, back up Cairn Gorm before hot chocolate at the Ptarmigan Restaurant and a great descent down the MI.

So, it wasn't waist deep powder, but it's Scotland and it doesn't get much better than this.

Don't believe me, check this out:

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

a funny breed

Climbers - we are a funny lot.

All summer we wait for the snow to arrive and when it does finally arrive we spend all day clearing it off the ledges and out of the cracks.

It was cold today.  In fact it was a six layer day and that included the walk out and that doesn't happen often.

Dave H required absolutely no persuasion what so ever to return to Cha-no and armed with knowledge from the previous day, we actually managed to climb a couple of routes.  Ok, Dave climbed and I just flayed pathetically.

They were called 'hard' and 'desperate'.

Oh, I managed to drop my crumpler case and 3 new batteries down the crag today and couldn't hold back from looking over the IFMGA's shoulder to make sure that he was taking the compass bearing correctly as we headed home - old habits die hard :)

Thanks to Dave for another brilliant day on the hill.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

the start of my winter skinning season

First a winter route, and now a skin - you would think that winter has finally arrived.

Couldn't believe how much snow had fallen on the hill - was fully prepared for an enjoyable skin and a painful walk back down but, alas no.

Enough snow for the 'survival snow plough' - not pretty but effective - descent.  Bad enough when you have your ski legs on but brutal when you don't.

Great to see lots of workers preparing the slopes for the start of the season - won't be long now.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

the start of my winter climbing season

My winter climbing season finally got off the ground today.

Todays criteria:

1. Really don't want to drive too far because I will probably forget something.

2. Really don't want a sparrow fart start.

3. Ideally a short walk in.

4. Preferably something I hadn't climbed before.

After a troll through the SMC Journal with some direction from Simon Richardson's excellent database, I found what I was looking for.

By far the hardest part of the day was finding the top of the Recovery Gully for the descent into Creagan Cha-no.

Haven't a clue what we climbed, but enjoyable still the same.  Never forgot anything, never thought I was going to die at any stage, never saw a sole all day and managed to navigate in and out without getting lost - bonus.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Something is wrong ...

... when 90% of icons on your computer are Skimo Scotland!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

falling out of love with the west

On Monday I left Grantown on Spey where it was -5.  By the time I drove to Fort William it was +7 and peeing with rain.   Didn't have the heart to get my camera drenched.

Today, we headed West again and were rewarded with some fine Scottish views.  

Not a whiff of frozen stuff but there were a couple of soggy snow patches hanging on for dear life.

Friday, 2 November 2012

garbh choire

The best plans are often the last minute ones.

Yesterday, we could have scraped our way up a route but we decided to have a mini adventure instead.

Not content with Ben MacDui, we continued to Carn a'Mhaim (that shall now be called the never ending hill), before heading down into the Glen for the night.

Derek: "Di, you take me to all the best places ..."

Di "[snigger]

A little bit surprised to wake up to rather a lot of snow.

After a couple of hours battling up Angels Ridge - and getting nowhere - we made the hard decision of abandoning Plan A.

Plan B wasn't exactly a stroll in the park, as we trudged back through the Lairig Ghru and many hours later we finally arrived back at civilisation :)