Due to a knee injury I was unable to head into the hills to enjoy a beautiful morning of Scottish winter walking or climbing, so I made the most of the excellent conditions by extracting myself from bed in time for sunrise. Initially I started down at the end of the reservoir formed by the Laggan Dam, and then heading to the beach at Kinloch Laggan. The morning was totally still and made for a beautiful morning with crisp reflections, unfortunately the cloud towards the east prevented a beautiful sunrise.
I had planned on doing a big winter walk which would have included Creag Meagaidh, Stob Poite Coire Ardair and Carn Liath however on the walk up to Coire Ardair it became apparent that it was not going to be possible due to a knee injury. Despite not completing the walk, it was great to be in fantastic scenery in good weather again. Before I turned back I managed to get a few photos to capture the stroll up the valley.
It has been a few years since we winter climbed in Scotland, mostly due to injuries and conditions. This year we decided we wanted to get back into it, but unfortunately conditions were making it difficult. The option with the safest approach seems to be the Mess of Pottage at Coire an t-Sneachda in the Cairngorms. We decided to climb hidden chimney again as a suitable re-introduction to Scottish winter, unfortunately so did a large number of other people. The walk in was surprisingly easy given how much snow was on the ground, and by the time we had arrived in the coire the cloud had lifted and showed us an excellent view of the crag, and the army of climbers in front of us. Thankfully not many teams had already approached Hidden Chimney. We started the route behind out friends James and Jon and had a very enjoyable climb. It wasn’t too cold and the conditions on the climb were excellent, and very different to last time we climbed the route. There was some very poor crag etiquette going on with a team climbing over us and the team. Read the full article…
With the weather looking significantly better in the east we chose to do another Corbett to make the most of any of the better weather. The start of the walk took us up the Burma road, which was fairly snowy from a low level. Despite the snow we were able to make good progress and enjoy the brilliant views back towards the Cairngorms. As the snow became deeper we all put on our snow shoes, which made the path easier, but I don’t think they made a significant difference. As we left the path to head up to the summit the poor weather came in, so the compass came back out. The show shoes also started to provide a significant benefit and we were certainly grateful for them. The descent was lovely and it was really great to see the Cairngorms from afar and from up high. It was really impressive seeing the vast expanse and how easy it was to identify a number of the major features of the range.