/ Gearr Aonach Zig Zags

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NottsRich on 10 Jan 2013
Does anyone know if the Zig Zags currently have any snow/ice on them? Thinking about going up that route with some friends on Saturday, but only if it's not white due to a lack of kit between all of us.

And assuming they're snow free, would the route from there to Coire nan Lochan be ok without crampons too?

Kevin Woods - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to NottsRich: Haven't been up since the thaw but highly highly doubt it at the moment. Freezing levels are forecast to go down to the ground for the weekend. It might not be white but I expect you might find some ice.
Rich W Parker - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to NottsRich:

The Zig Zags currently have no snow on them at all. Haven't been up into CNL for ages but drove past yesterday and there's still quite a bit of snow in there, which will be really firm now. Might be a bit tricky to avoid the snow patches. Perhaps someone else can be bit more specific. Starting to get a bit more wintery here.
Scott Kirkhope - on 10 Jan 2013
HardenClimber - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to NottsRich:
On Sunday 6th there was no snow or ice on the ZigZags. The walk across the top to the Coire had some patches of fairly soft snow, so no crampons needed there. there has been quite a rockfall across the zigzags & I'd wear a helmet in case there are any small bits still drifting down.
It was pretty wet so a frost (which I think is on the way) could put a nice glaze on it.
(the return leg of the circuit was clear to apart from some (soft) snow at the top - which a good frost could change rather)
NottsRich on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to all: Thanks everyone, sounds like it should be ok for our group then.

As I've not done the route before, does anyone have any pointers to find the base of the path? Is it right next to the rockfall in that link? i.e. can I use the rocks as a marker for the start of the trail! Might be cheating a bit but it'll speed our day up if we can find it first time!

Cheers all.
AlH - on 10 Jan 2013
In reply to NottsRich: That rock fall is a bit above the base of the route. If you look at Dave's picture 'Gearr aonach and the Zigzags' and picture it with a clock face on it...
Start at about 4 o'clock and go diagonally up left into the centre of the picture along a line at the top of the grass and the base of the vegetated darker tier. Do this until you reach the top of the scree fall coming from the centre of the pic down left. Here there is a big eroded patch of ground and the path goes back right along the top of the darker vegetated/broken craggy tier (with a steep wall above on the left) until a couple of nice polished rock steps (small sapling half way up) lead back up left (fairly obvious when you get there). Keep following a scree covered path on that line past a couple of very small steps at the base of the steep rock wall. There are a couple of options for heading back right; a short steep wall with a shallow right facing corner or a few metres further an easy couple of steps (the second is in a left facing corner (total height less than 10m). Beware a narrow flatter path continues on left from below these where people have drifted too far. After that the route is easier. Enjoy.
NottsRich on 11 Jan 2013
In reply to AlH: Good description, thanks. Head to the top of the scree slope and then right up a trail and follow the polish. Easy!
David Buckett - on 13 Jan 2013
In reply to NottsRich: Fresh report and photos on the zig zags today with a better photo of the new rock fall at the start by the overhangs at http://davidbuckett.wordpress.com/
NottsRich on 14 Jan 2013
Thanks for all the information from people - conditions were exactly as expected and we had a great day out.

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