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).

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