Sunday, 15 January 2012

Shelterstone conditions report 14.1.12

Joanna and I got an early start on saturday and headed over to the Shelterstone Crag. I've never climbed on the shelterstone but with blue skies and very little wind things were looking good for a nice days climbing.
There was lots of hard snow and some ice walking down Coire Domhain into the Loch Avon basin. With some fresh snow this could pose a substantial avalanche risk. On the way we saw a couple of parties making use of an iced up looking Hells Lum.
Looking up at the Shelterstone I could see alot of bare rock but I was hoping that our route, Castle Wall, would be holding abit more snow, as it is only a III and therefore unlikely to be as steep as other routes on the crag. There didn't look to be anything else actually "in" on the whole crag and the likes of Sticil Face will take abit of forming.
Not sure exaclty what goes up here but its not "in"
The route itself took lots of turfy ledges up the ridge to the right of Castlegate Gully. The guide may say that this is a III but some of the climbing was much harder than that, the UKC grade of IV 5 sounds abit more accurate. The climb turned out to be in an accaptable condition with lots of well frozen turf and provided some excellent positions.
Joanna on the snow arete on the 5th pitch
We topped out at just before 3pm and began the long walk back to the Coire Cas car park. On the way I actually took a picture of a white Hells Lum. I took a look down the top of a few of the easier gullys in Coire an t'Schneada but they were looking abit bare. The top outs for Alladins couloir and Central Gully weren't holding any snow.
Hells Lum

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