I was out for a quick ski this morning. The thaw has started to reveal crags again, with lots of teams out on Aladdins Buttress and Fiacaille buttress. Mess of pottage is looking recognisable, but still has a large cornice above. Fluted buttress to Goat track gully now has a few climbable routes.
Large word of warning! These newly exposed routes will probably contain a fair amount of loose rock and rotten ice, as well as melting cornices that will present a significant hazard until we get a good freeze, not due until next friday.
In reply to ian stewart: Just been out again today in Sneachda Ian and the freeze happened last night, good solid Neve to go at on most of routes where its visible, the ice there is, is a bit thin granted, but the cornices at the top are frozen solid. All this was before lunch and the sun was softening things up a bit on exposed routes so no word on afternoon warming, but at 12:00 anything out of the sun was still frozen solid, Patey's Route and Aladdins Mirror soloed today.
More info and photos on the Blog (sorry for hijack)http://markswalks.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/alpine-scotland/
You could be right, guide book doesn't exactly match conditions on the ground at the moment, plus I was only referring to it after the climb! Think at the moment there's a lot of hopping across different routes. Great days out though!
Martin and I have been out in the Cairngorms the last few days skiing and climbing routes such as Invernookie, Western Slant and Rampant. There are full conditions reports and photos on the ClimbNow blog and facebook page.
A quick note on Western Slant, the route was in excellent but bold condition on Monday except the exit. This was on very steep poor quality snow which was virtually unprotected.
Not northern corries, but still northern Cairngorms: I made the long walk round to Coire Brochain today, soloed Central Buttress Gully (which definitely deserves its ** by the way), and back over Sron na Lairig.
Lurchers Crag is over for this year: nothing anywhere near complete. In contrast, the Braeriach massif cliffs are absolutely plastered, with monster cornices on everything E- or NE-facing all the way from Angels' Peak (even looks like a small cornice at the top of the NE ridge) round to Coire Brochain W Buttress. Smaller cornices on the S-facing Central and E buttresses in Coire Brochain, and none at the tops of CBG and E Gully. Some snow sloughing off Braeriach Pinnacle but the upper part of CBG had excellent neve, icy in places.
Climbed Crystal Ridge in Coire Sputan Dearg early this morning. It was sublime - as was the rest of the day which we spent wandering up and down hills. Most crags getting much sun are stripped but as rif sais, Braericach massif plastered white. Some pics here http://gneissandicy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/crystal-clear.html