‘The Office’

24th February 2019

It was a tough day in ‘The Office’ with blue sky and practically no wind first thing this morning. Okay conditions aren’t what we would expect to have at this time of year but whatever ‘Cloak’ the mountains are wearing you’ve just got to get out there and enjoy what’s on offer. Today it was great views and warm rock – yes it’s February and the rock was dry and warm enough to climb. I also had some company on the hill which was a pleasant change from being ‘Billy no mates’ – Braemar Mountain Rescue Team were out training so I got to tag along and have the rip taken out of me for my tiny rucksack – once an alpinist – always an alpinist – That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it…. We went into Beinn a’Bhuird today – warm, sweaty walk in and then some very pleasant scrambling on mostly dry rock to the plateau. Amazingly the Dubh Lochain still has ice on it which is pretty incredible given the temperatures that we’ve had in the mountains recently. You could still climb on snow from the corrie to the plateau if you wanted to and there are no cornices to negotiate. Usually Beinn a’Bhuird specialises in pretty large cornices – but not this year. It’s forecast to stay very mild until at least Thursday…..there are vague rumours that temperatures may normalise in March!

February 24th! No hats, no gloves – T shirts and sunglasses required!

We did a bit of a howff to howff tour today – visiting a couple on the way in. Calum enjoying the sunshine and dry rock.

Interesting to see that the Dubh Lochain still has ice on it despite the continued thaw – It must have been seriously thick at one point.

Okay so it’s not snow but climbing on warm dry rock in February is pretty special… 

Looking across from high on Dividing Buttress to Coire na Clach.

Giving you an idea of the cover at 1150m. Top of Dividing Buttress. Distant views to Lochnagar, The Stuic and t-Sagairt Mor & Beg.

Slumping and glide cracks at the top of Coire an Dubh Lochain. There are normally large overhanging cornices here at this time of year.

View from near the summit of Beinn a’Bhuird South Top to the rest of the Cairngorm Plateau giving you an idea of the lack of cover…

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