Louise and David enjoyed their first winter day in the mountains. They were originally booked in to complete the traverse of Liathach this, however, had to be cancelled due to the weather. They opted to do a days winter skills in the Cairngorms instead. The weather was much more promising than forecast, clear sky and no wind first thing. We made good use of the walk in to the Fiacaill to practising some basic navigation and talking about the potential avalanche conditions. After acquiring some new skills on the lower slopes of the Fiacaill, David an Louise were ready for some steeper ground. We moved towards the Coire along the foot of the ridge until we found perfect hard steep snow for crampon practice. David quickly picked up the technique, Louise needed a bit more time to gain some trust in these sharp metal things now tied to her feet. Soon both were proficient enough to make our way up on to the ridge and along to the start of Fiacaill buttress.
By now the weather forecast was more accurate with a strong Northerly wind and a lowering cloud based. We decided to cut left and escape into Coire an Lochain. The going was tough with deep snow and a buffeting wind. After an hour or so we were back at the car park. David and Louise said that they will not be beaten by Liathach and will be back to climb it this Summer. Hope to see you both soon.
blog by Dunc Maclennan, nineonesix-guiding