We got up bright and early and walked into Coire an t'Sneachda. Lots of snow had been stripped out by the thaw and it felt way less wintery than when I was up before Christmas. We started up Stirling Bomber. I lead the first introductory pitch and Livingstone powered his way up the main groove, which was well protected with good hooks. We then wandered down, grabbed our sacks and started up Belhaven.
|Tom starting up pitch 2 of Stirling Bomber.|
|Me in Stirling Bomber.|
I led the middle pitch, which had a tricky start (Tom fell off seconding!) but was pretty easy otherwise. Tom then started up the main corner. He took his time but seemed to be cruising. Thankfully he didn't get too spooked when I took him off belay mid crux - I'm sure I heard him shout safe. The cold must have been getting to him. He topped out just before dark.
|Tom starting pitch 2 of Belhaven.|
|Tom about to be taken off belay on Pitch 2 of Belhaven!|
That evening we decided to use Tom's car as a heath robinson drying room. This worked brilliantly until the car stopped working. Luckily Tom had AA cover and we got the car fixed the next day. Unfortunatelt by the time it was fixed there was no time to go climbing, so we spent the rest of the day sat by a fire in a gear shop in Aviemore, reading guidebook and buy nothing.
The next day the weather was awful with 120mph winds forecast so we decided that heading up into the hills wasn't sensible and spent most of the day reading old climbing magazines (I mean revising) in Mill Cottage.
|Tom on tricky variation start to Yukon Jack Pitch 2.|
By the time I got to the belay the weather was even worse. So we escaped up the Haston Line and got blown across the Plateau and back to the car.
On Thursday we headed into Coire an Lochain with no set plan. Fresh snow fall, white out and inept navigation made finding the crag quite tricky. Thankfully we bumped into Pete and Malcolm and Dave and Dave on the walk in, who were able to show us the way to the crag.
|Dave Almond starting up Big Daddy.|
|Tom after being blown up Ventilator.|