Woken early (really early!) and I couldn't sleep so got up and headed the short drive up the A9 to Moulin. The weather had been cold and snowy so I left the car in the slightly lower car park (upper one was fine on arrival) and headed off in the dark. No starry skies on this walk unlike last night time outing, however this walk felt a lot more "alien!". The gloaming and fact that the trees have recently been felled had me questioning if I was on the right path!!! However the "trench" made by previous walkers re assured me I was on the correct path!! This made progress quick and navigation easy - a stark contrast to the last trip where I was breaking trail (sometimes through waist deep snow), and subsequently the time to reach the summit was almost halved on this walk!
Got some nice atmospheric snaps of Pitlcohry at the Benches before headed into the cloud and the gloaming!!
A large part of me was hoping for an inversion and the peak to be above the cloud, however my brain told me this was unlikely given the met office peaks forecast! My brain was right!!! Reaching the top just before sunrise and I really was roaming in the gloaming. The summit trig and cairn were very nicely iced up and I got a few nice shots of the ice sculptures that had formed.
Nothing else to see so I swiftly headed back to car, made easy by nice snow and crampons biting nicely! Back home in time for breakfast and the rest of the world waking up.....
A productive festive season was brought to a close by a jaunt to SCNL in Glencoe. The forecast was ok but things didn't look great on the drive up, existing the car to warm sector weather, we decided to have a look and take the gear for a walk. On getting higher the conditions improved and we headed up Twisting Gully. Myself and Mark did this with Mark leading the way on some tricky sections. The two Gs headed round to Dorsal and dispatched this in fine style with it being in good nick. A real hoolie greeted us on top and we quickly descended Broad Gully to get out of the wind.
The forecasters were warning of temperatures down to -10 but the conditions were looking good. Clear skies, lots of snow on the ground. This was my chance to do the seasons first winter wild camp!! Beinn a' Chrulaiste had been chosen some time before and having had experience camping here before I knew what to expect and boy I wasn't disappointed!!!
Full WH report here to save duplication :
Pictures and film below from a memorable trip.
Brownie Points gained on Xmas day and I managed to sneek in a wee Boxing Day outing. It had to be a short day so we headed up in to Coire nan Lochan. The snow was a little powdery towards the bottom but as we got higher up Forked Gully the conditions were perfect. The place was dead, only saw one other team. Soloed up Forked and descended on the ankle breaking boulders on the western rim of the Coire. Was back home enjoying Turkey sandwiches in the mid afternoon - a very fine outing indeed!! Some pictures (taken by myself and Gerry took ones of me) and the usual video of the day below :)
So the first weekend of my Xmas holidays and the weather looked ok. There was snow and the weather had been through a few freeze thaw cycles. We decided to head towards the Bridge of Orchy hills to see if any of the routes near centigrade were doable. However upon reaching the car parking spot we could see through the binos that the crag was black;( What to do ....
We headed down beside the River Orchy to have a look at Udlaidh. Surprisingly (or not!) we could see ice on the crag. We kitted up and headed for a hike to see what was in. Turned out the ice was forming but not enough to do any of the better know routes. Eventually we made for the upper half of Central Gully where snow was a little (but not much) firmer. Half way up we cut up acleft /chinment to the right. It was a short sporting route in these conditions and we were soon at the top, suffering hot aches (worse Ihave had in some time!!). A nice day out but a sore one, I found walking hard today as my abdomen was really sore after yesterdays bike crash on ice. Climbing with little or no core strength was also interesting!!! Relieve was popping lots of Brufen and paracetamol !!
Some thoughts and reports from my outdoors activties...