Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Winter returns...but not quite yet

Today Kev, Davie, Andy and myself headed up the Ben for a look at what had survived the thaw. It was nice to be on the hill with the head torches again walking up the Allt a Mhuillin after the last few weeks of mild and damp weather. Our plans were fairly flexible as we didn't think there would be a huge amount of choice. And there certainly wasn't.... Warm temperatures on the walk in started a bit of niggling doubt. As did the rain sweeping in just before we reached the CIC hut. When the cloud lifted and we got a view of the Coire na Ciste area it was clear things weren't looking too good. Only the easy gullies looked complete and even then we weren't convinced the freezing level had dropped nearly enough to make these remotely enjoyable to climb. More like a wade through sugary snow and slush.
Kev looking really happy....

 After a quick stop we reached a consensus and bailed for the day having to postpone our season's tick list until the winter conditions return.

Today's conditions

On a promising note there was a fresh dusting of snow down to about 900m and the current forecasts do suggest a return to colder conditions. Unfortunately it feels that we're almost starting from scratch again. Disappointing to think that only a few weeks ago the Curtain was pretty much complete and Point Five was looking fat.
If only it looked like this! Photo taken 11th December 2012

Here's hoping a few weeks will make all the difference and bring back the good climbing! Think it may have to be a trip East tomorrow to see what is left in the Cairngorms...