Monday, 11 November 2013

Coire an Lochain Winter Conditions 10.11.13

On Sunday I made my second winter trip of the season to the classic early season venue of Coire and Lochain in the Northern Corries of Cairngorm.
Looking across to Savage slit and Fallout
The day started out a bit cold, windy and cloudy but I did see a few friends in the car park heading to t'Schneada. Today I was climbing with two friends from across the border, Pete Holder and Jack Loftus. Despite doing a lot of drytooling with Pete I had never winter climbed with him.
We had some wild ideas of trying something on the Happy Tyroleans wall (ok maybe that was me) and then Daddy Longlegs (me again). In the end we went for Ventricle (VII 8). Both Pete and I tried to lead the first pitch but got stopped by an awkward slopping ledge, just above a nice friendly ledge. It wouldn't have been so friendly if one of us had fallen on it. I also fell after trying the move a lot of times but one of the axes luckily stuck while all other points of contact came off. It shouldn't be this hard!
In the end we climbed The Aurcile (VI 7). The main overhanging corner crack pitch is definitely the crux, but it isn't all over on the last pitch either.
Auricle Pitch 1
Auricle Crux Pitch
Final Pitch
Conditions were good in the corrie with a healthy coating of rime covering all surface, except Fallout Corner (although it was probably still "in"). I found some bits of ok turf kicking about, although its far from perfect. Things appear to be in good early season condition at the moment.
We couldn't see any other teams climbing in the corrie, but I think the was a team on Hoarmaster. There was a big bit of rime missing on the buttress between the branches of Y-Gully, so maybe something was climbed up there too.
Lochain with its winter coat

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