Been out here and there in the last few weeks, before the early December cold snap broke down in the middle of the the month managed to climb the excellent Inclination (VII/7) in Stob Coire Nan Lochan with Konnie and Viv, Route I with the direct start (VI/6) on the Ben with Konnie and the nails Genie (V/7) in Sneachda with Steve (along with some airtime on my part).
Ironically the very cold few weeks we've just had in Scotland weren't brilliant for winter climbing as there had been quite a major thaw previously and during the cold snap the weather was very dry. A week ago on Saturday I made the long (4hrs) slog into Braeriach with Konnie and Gaz to climb the icy Vulcan (V/4) in Garbh Coire Mor, supposedly the snowiest place in Britain. An awesome, wild and deserted place but quite a long way to go for two pitches of climbing. At the top I had to deal with a 7 metres of horrific vertical sugar above less than convincing runners and belay, it eventually succumbed to over an hour of character building tunneling after convincing myself that I was Colin Haley on a top rope.
No.4 Buttress, Coire an Lochain
Despite the warm and windy forecast, last Friday the conditions in Coire an Lochain were excellent with all the buttresses nicely hoared and the temperatures below zero even if the wind was fairly savage... Viv and climbed the classic Fallout Corner (VI/7) that provided a couple of pitches of very well protected climbing, maybe a touch overrated though and very soft for the grade. I would have no complaints if it was given V/7 and definitely easier than the Genie.
The wild (and very snowy) Garbh Coire Mor
Viv on pitch 2
A wintery Ben Nevis
Route I direct start
Kenny Grant on Route II
Konnie enjoying the rebirth chimney
Steve styling up pitch 2 of The Genie