Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Scotland, Early March

Glen Nevis and Steall Falls

Managed to get another trip up north in order to get scared in the snow.
Went up with my Dad (Anthony Bennett) however as he has a rather large aversion to getting cold and wet this was going to time winter climbing.
We had used crampons and axes in the summer while in the Alps buts it's warm there so no problem!
So off we went on Wednesday morning (10-03-10) up to Kinguisse, We arrive at around 9pm after taking it steady on the drive up with plenty of coffee breaks. Unfortunately there was only room in the Tipsy Laird for one night so we booked into the Aviemore Youth Hostel.
Thursday was a day of cloud and wind but luckily no rain, we went for skiing with the hope that the forecast would be right it was going to be better on the Friday.
Skiing was awesome and i would highly recommend spending a day sampling the delights of skiing in the Cairngorm.
These delights would be as follows:

  • No visibility-We couldn't tell where was up or down for a bit

  • Wind-If you stopped polling you got backwards

  • More Wind-It blows snow at you which is like be sand blasted and having large hand fulls of gravel thrust into your face.

  • No Mountain Restaurants-Our European counterparts have one up on us there.

But that's all part of the fun.

So on Friday we woke up full of excitement because it was going to be nice, Was it buggery we were treated to more cloud and wind and then it snowed too. I was not happy as i walked up into Coire an t-sneachda barely able to see my own feet and falling through the crust of ice on top of the snow every 3 feet.
Luckily the cloud lifted just for long enough for me to be able to see Aladdin's Mirror and off I shot up the first bit of gully pointing out the finer points of kicking the snow as hard as you can to my Dad.
Mirror Direct was particularly small this week at a staggering 2.5m plenty of snow banking it out now.
The route progressed with out incident until we topped out into a gale and the proceeded to get a bit lost and then walk to the top of Cairngorm and come down past the funicular Top Station.
So all in all a very good day!

After enjoying the fab Cairngorm weather we went off to see what was happening on the West Coast and what a surprise the weather on the Ben was even worse. We opted to have a day off and wander round Fort William being tourists.
Exhausted from all the sights we booked into the Glen Nevis youth hostel which to our dismay we had forgotten is nowhere near a pub!
Looking at the weather we decided we didn't want to do winter climbing (we are massive wimps after all, that's why we're alive) so we walked down the Glen Nevis valley until the rain became horizontal then headed back to the Hostel for Tea, Medals and not forgetting Deep fried haggis for tea.

Cracking few days in Scotland, I love winter climbing its truly horrible!

Our winter climbing House on wheels

Exciting Bridge in Glen Nevis

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