/ UKC Conditions report - Northern Cairngorms 21st Feb

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ian stewart - on 21 Feb 2014
Hi All,

Well I have not been climbing in the northern cairngorms this week as I have been away in the North West, although I did manage a quick ski on wednesday before the wind picked up.

So here is the information I have found:

Al Halewood has been out and about with the MIC assessments this week, getting some good climbing on Apex gully on Stag rocks on wednesday. http://climbwhenyoureready.com/Blog.html

James has some pictures from Lurchers last week http://glencoemountaineer.blogspot.co.uk and the reports from earlier this week that the ice was looking good over there, but busy, with around 30 people walking in there last sunday.

Yesterday however the freezing level rose above the summits, and today is far too windy to access the hill (again!) so it is difficult to say how much ice will have been stripped. Colder today and tomorrow, then warm and very windy again sunday....

If you have been out please add your reports to this thread, thanks.

On a separate note, there have been some strange practices observed this week:
A team of 17 people climbing Aladdin's Couloir together on a day with a considerable avalanche hazard!!
A team of 5 people all tied in at intervals along a 60meter rope trying to 'move together' up Fiacaille ridge - the result being an impossible stalemate, where no one could move at all!

Also another rescue call out after climbers failed to navigate back from a climb.

Keep an eye on the forecasts here:

robgixer - on 21 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

Went to lurchers today, climbed North Gully, pretty windy but not unbearable, conditions were good ice a little thin at the bottom but still solid, all the snow was firm and a good ice pitch near the top. Not bad for a 3 and half hour day! I could see k9 which looked very good a nice blue ice section in the middle. Crag seems in good nick overall not buried at all with exposed rock.
euanw - on 22 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

Hi Folks

For those interested, there is a conditions report on the climbnow blog with regards the Loch Avon climbing conditions and the Northern Corries conditions. There is also a large number of photos of the Cairngorms this week on the climbnow facebook page.

Stag Rocks has been popular this week. Large cornices persist on a number of crags although this may change with Sundays thaw.


arthaslu - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

really useful information!
chaser on 24 Feb 2014 - host81-132-54-35.range81-132.btcentralplus.com
In reply to ian stewart:

Any conditions updates from today in the northern corries or the cairngorms in general?
Andy Nisbet - on 24 Feb 2014
In reply to chaser:

Conditions were good in Sneachda today. It had frozen a little overnight but was gently thawing in the afternoon. Very little fresh snow but that is likely to change.
rossn - on 26 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

I would like to have seen the 17 roped together. It would require incredible timimg. LOL
Dave Richards - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

Has anyone been out recently? Anything that isn't a death trap? How about Fiacaill Ridge, am I optimistic that this will be an alright objective? Will I need 16 other people to rope up with? :P
SteveHolmes - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to Dave Richards:

Loads of people climbing on Aladins buttress yesterday. Most routes in good if not easy condition due to the amount of good neve to climb. From there we could see several parties on the Fiacaill Ridge but can't comment on its approach or condition.

PAJames - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to SteveHolmes:

Hell's Lum very icy, some pictures of fairly buried Shelterstone and Carn Etchachan - http://www.pjmountains.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/27-02-14-hells-lum-cairngorms-winter.html
MikeR - on 27 Feb 2014
In reply to PAJames:

Any idea what the cornices are like at the moment on the more east/ESE aspects? Thinking of having a look at Coire Sputan Dearg on Ben MacDui on Saturday.
Mike-W-99 on 28 Feb 2014
In reply to MikeR:

Not sure but the sais southern cairngorms blog today might show them?
euanw - on 28 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

I have just had five great days climbing in the Cairngorms. We have found lots of great conditions. Today, we were out on Aladdin's Buttress were we climbed Terms of Endearment on good neve.

There is a full conditions report on the climbnow.co.uk blog and many photos of the weeks conditions on the climbnow facebook page.
kevinr - on 28 Feb 2014
In reply to ian stewart:

Possible busy weekend ahead in the northern corries? There are still huge cornices above a lot of routes in Sneachda. PLEASE LOOK UP AND OPEN YOUR EYES and make sure you can see a safe exit on a route before starting. You CANNOT climb out at the top of Jacobs ladder just now.....and you wont be able to for some time to come.
jamiefoxen - on 02 Mar 2014
In reply to ian stewart:
Climbed savage slit in Coire an Lochain on sat. Ok nevi at bottom, turning to powder in the chimney. Thick Vergalss and some hoarfrost on al the walls either side and in the chimney, making gear tricky.

VERY large cornices above and between No1,2,3, and 4 buttress. The snow on the great slab had partially slipped in a few different blocks, creating what deep crevasses, the highest of which is right below No 3 buttress. A small snow pit on the bottom of slope up to No 4 buttress revealed super well consolidated snow with a weak layer about 1.5 feet down, we didn't dig much deeper.

We avoided the slab and cornice danger by walking in on the right of the coire, and abbing down after the savage slit chimney which is quite far out on the buttress away from any visible cornice at top. This kept us out of line from direct cornice collapse.

We heard what was likely a small cornice collapse whilst on the climb, this resulted in a small surface slide of powder with no large chunks down a gully on no3 or between 2 and 3 buttress.

So topping out likely to be a bad idea and gullies.
Post edited at 12:17

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