11th January 2013
Went into Lochnagar today via Gelder Shiel instead of Glen Muick for a change. The land rover tracks are firm and in good condition at present, and using a mountain bike for access was an acceptable option.
As Wednesday’s photographs showed, the buttresses are bare although there was a thin glaze of ice over all the rocks on the walk in – making for a very tricky boulder field. The snow is VERY firm but only started just underneath the crags. However due to the ice over the rocks and vegetation it was actually easier to stay on your feet once the crampons went on and you stepped onto the snow. It is only the easiest gullies that contain snow and as I found, even some of them do have breaks in the snow.
Black Spout left hand finish has a short break of a couple of metres, but right hand finish has a much longer break in the snow of about 50 metres. You can still complete the route if you are happy to do some easy mixed climbing, and the snow returns for the finish.
It looks like much colder weather is arriving tonight, and over in the East here we have been forecast overnight snow, continuing showery on Saturday. So have fun out there tomorrow but have a quick look at the main report first.
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