In February 2014, together with the Chelmsford Mountaineering Club, I set off to the Cairngorms for a week.
This was my first proper lesson of “Scottish winter climbing”. Main things that I learnt were:
- always take your water-proof clothing (as you are almost certainly going to get wet on approach);
- always check forecast for a freezing level (as route you are going to climb is likely to melt while you’re half way up);
- always take transparent ski goggles rather than sunglasses (to protect eyes from snow and rain);
- make sure your partner has excellent navigation skills (climbing the route is a piece of cake comparing to walking off the mountain in complete white out).
In spite of several failures caused by rain, melting ice or getting lost on the mountain, I managed to climb three “classic” routes at Coire An t-Sneachda:
- Invernookie (120m, III,4);
- Terms of Endearment (100m, III);
- Doctor’s Choice (105m, IV,5).