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Topic - Liathach traverse today, and a "van view" of the journey south.

peebles boy - on 29 Mar 2014

What the forecast said:
Bit windy, perfectly dry, cloud clearing mid morning.

What I thought about that:
Up early, trek into the back of Liathach, up the Northern Pinnacles and along the ridge.

What actually happened:
Up early, trekked into the back of Liathach, got blizzarded on for a bit, climbed up into the lingering clag at 700m, failed to find the "access gully" on NW flank of Meall Dearg due to crap vis, headed up the Coireag Dearg ridge after a few abbortive dead ends, onto the ridge which is near enough clear of snow (crampons off again all the way to summit of Spidean), crampons on fro descent from Spidean, then down Way Up (also entertained by 4 skiers descending it, good work fellas!! Will post link to ski photos later on the ski forum)

Conditions wise, the ridge is pretty bare, barring the odd patch of snow, but the top 100m or so of Spidean is still pretty wintry. Coires holding quite a bit of snow, main ice lines still have some ice hanging in there but certainly not enough for climbing I would think (though a period of freeze could well bring them back). Few of the I/II gullies still complete, no cornice issues, just steep crap snow at the tops.

Some photos here, as well as ones of Beinn Bhan and Glenshiel (glenshiel is still pretty wintry looking on the north faces of the South Glenshiel Ridge, still definitely crampon and axe territory):

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