Sunday 4am and up for the first winter climb of the season. Mark and Craig headed up North for some action to Aviemore, heading off into the mist around 8am looking for Fiacaill buttress area. Increasing height brought increasing snow and a final swim to the entrance to the couloir.
A party ahead of us were heading for The Seam, which was on our tick list but the conditions were not great for it, so we took the Invernookie line; always a great early season alternative - indeed, The Seam party bailed after the traverse to the base of the chimney.
|Craig on third pitch|
We had a fine day swinging leads; me first and third, Mark second and fourth. We hooked and swam up the route as the snow was deep and soft, and the turf soft. A lovely day broke around 12am as the mist lifted and revealed the corrie in its full winter garb. There was plenty of action around the Fiacaill and elsewhere in the corrie.
|Mark on the final pitch traverse|