Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Getting a lumber...

Craig and Mark headed for an overnighter in the Coire Cas carpark for an early start to the Norries.

A vino night cap and up at 6am saw us watching the crowds head into the ', we headed for Lurcher's Crag at a more leisurely pace.

Enroute, we saw a full depth avalanche trail across the Lairig Ghru...very scary.

Full depth avalanche across the 'Ghru
We had K9 in mind but after getting to the base, it was clear the ice was very fragile, wet and delaminating.  The traverse to the base of the first pitch looked unappetising so we back off and headed for what turned out to be North Gully (III).

Surprisingly steep pitch at mid-height

At the top
Soloing the route up to the main ice pitch midway, we passed a rope of 2 and chatted about this winters rather "tricky" conditions.

We roped up for the "steeper than it looked" ice overlap then continued solo to the summit.

Onwards to the crag summit and a pleasant lunch and chat with the keen ski-mo'ers saw us head off towards to the ridge down to the east side of the Chalamain Gap; it was incredibly icey on the way down due to wind scouring and cold nonetheless.

Chalamain Gap

VERY icey descent
A pleasant walk out saw us head for Aviemore, a quick gear shop scan and coffee at the inimitable Aviemore Mountain Cafe; thence home and a hearty dinner.

Fine day out; first proper sunny winter's day in a while.  The snow is beyond description mind!

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