This morning Susan and I set off up the Hurt lochan for Susan's first ever winter climb. As we headed up the lochan path, I was both very surprised and happy to see a lot of good ice forming from a low level to the plateau. With winds not nearly as bad as forecast and the lochan still looking reasonably quiet, we headed for Dorsal Arete II,3 which Susan easily seconded! whilst descending Broad Gully I, we noticed that almost every step of the way on Dorsal Arete was littered with people! Beat the crowds ...JUST! After a quick descent we decided to check out NC Gully II to make the most of the conditions and were quite happy with the conditions we found there, good neve was found once we entered the gully proper and only a small broken step at about mid way. After topping out on our second route of the day, another descent of Broad Gully and a long walk back down the hurt lochan we soon found ourselves back at the car with some good banter from a few fellow hill goers along the way!
Sadly on our return we learned that 4 climbers had lost their life in an avalanche incident on Central Gully, Bidean nam Bian. My deepest sympathies and thoughts are with all of the families and let us not forget the sterling efforts of the mountain rescue teams in attendance. A sad day indeed.
|Ice forming just below the plateau of Stob Coire nan Lochan|
|SCNL this morning|
|Susan looking quietly confident|
|Susan enjoying Dorsal Arete II,3|
|Susan tops out on her first ever winter climb, well done!|
|Atmospheric conditions in NC Gully II|
|Susan tops out on NC Gully II, her second route ever!|