/ Cuillin Winter Tactics

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seaofdreams - on 28 Dec 2012
Depending on the weather over the next few weeks my mate and I were going to have a bash at the traverse. Ive completed many times in summer and attempted once in winter before being forced off by the wind.

We were going to move from North to South and Skip the TD gap by coming down into Grunda and back up to the Dubh's. im lead to understand that the gap is quite tricky in this direction.

I was also consdiering a light two man tent over two bivi bags because its warmer, dryer and better sleep will result. at this time of year its going to be two bivis - has anyone done it like this?

Nath93 - on 28 Dec 2012
Cameron94 on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to seaofdreams: The thread Nath has pointed out will give you all the timings, I'd also sugest having a quick look at Mike's blog for detailed route info with times.
The East side of the TD gap is grade IV/6. So it could be worth dropping into the corrie to save time.

I'm slightly confused by your question though, do you want to know about a tent or spending two nights out?

Worth checking these two;

seaofdreams - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Both:

Thanks both - published timings, although good for an aide and an overview of slow/fast sections, are conditions fitness and weather dependant as anyone who climbs big routes will tell you. Itís not worth stressing about how long other people think you should be on a route and more thinking about what your team, given these variables on the day can achieve (and therefore if the route is a realistic option for the team). Tower Ridge has taken me 12 hours and 3 hours in winter and neither number would inform you for tomorrow.

I was not therefore, asking about timings as it will be three days on the hill or two bivis else we fail and come down. The question was concerning the merits of a light tent over two bivi bags and an assessment of the need to climb the TD gap over a bypass route.

Cameron94 on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to seaofdreams:
The timings obviously go on the assumption that A) the conditions are good B) the team is fit C) the team is competent. The reason I pointed them out was to give a general idea of how long it takes most teams, I'm sure you would agree that is quite a useful thing to know. You can then make your decisions based around it.

As to the OP; Personal preference, I would use a bivi bag. Are the benefits of a lightweight tent worth the small increase in weight for you? It would make things a bit more comfortable but it wouldn't sway things for me.

Nath93 - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to seaofdreams: I reckon you would waste a bit of time looking for a decent tent spot compared to what you could use a bivi with but if you are going to be out two nights then it could be worth the extra effort as it'd be easier to dry kit out, cook and get some body heat shared.

Hope you get the conditions and best of luck if you go for it !
wilkie14c - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to seaofdreams:
I've been waiting for years for several vital factors to conincide, time off work + perfect conditions + perfect weather <clear sky> + a big moon. A 24/36 hour crossing is the aim with lightness being the key. Light 3/4 sleeping mat, bag and bivvy bag. If you get conditions right a tent won't be nessesary
Mike Lates - on 02 Jan 2013
In reply to seaofdreams:
My experience of a "naked" sleeping bag (no gortex bag) in a tent in cold winter is not good unless using a mega good/big one. On the opposite side I've used (more than once) a £25 Tiso-own hollowfill bag inside a Gortex bag without getting cold @ minus 5. Fully clothed including paramo waterproofs but everything bone dry in the morning. Thinner bivvy bags definitely don't work as well. So, no, I don't think it makes sense unless the 2 of you are gonna zip bags together;)
Short side of the Gap is hard, especially in winter; didn't you notice when abseiling it on your summer traverses?

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