Looking at the forecast over the last several days it seamed obvious that if a climbing day was to be had it was today, and with the SAIS forecast as it was there was only one real venue to be had within a few hrs walk, so Lurcher’s crag here we come. Leaving Sugar bowl car park around 08:45 it certainly felt a lot colder than of late. By the time i was on the windy ridge before the Chalamain gap I had reached the freezing level. Unfortunately it had only frozen the crust of the old snow, just enough so that with every step you think its going to bare your weight then you break through up to your shins. Conditions like that make for very hard going so I was happy when I found the footprints of what turned out to be a group of 6 heading for the same crag. A skirt around the Gap on the north side and a long traverse around saw me catch up with the other group. Pleasantries exchanged a few map checks between us and we parted with them heading for North Gully and me heading for my target of central gully. It was luck at this point there was a few breaks in the showers and cloud to give a brief glimpses of the crag and for me to take a few pics, not long after that and a little bit higher there was no opportunity for any more photos as it was very bad vis in the constant spin drift. Getting to the bottom of Central gully I found the lower section to loaded with deep Windslab, so I decided on the gully which I passed on the approach and looked an interesting challenge. How wrong I was! It was more than a challenge it was very difficult to solo, bit of more than I could chew again. Although The ice wasn’t bad if a little brittle, what looked like neve interlinking them turned out to be either crud with a frozen crust or packed powder. The rocks didn’t seem muck better offering little in the way of placements for hooking the axes. Thankfully I found a nut some one had left if place, clipped it and had a rest before one of the crux pitches. It took a lot of will power to unclip that nut and all my varying techniques for soloing to carry on up the second half. Finally after a very nerve-racking move on a boulder I was onto easier ground and 2/3rds the way up. Time to place nut, clip in, let the tortoise’s head shrink back in and rearrange my balaclava which had slipped over my right eye, obscured my vision for the past half hour and probably made me the first cyclops to climb this route. Needles to say I wasn’t happy about attempting the second vertical icefall on my left, so I have to say I took the slightly easier route on the right, By the time I topped out I was knackered and just wanting to get off the hill. I navigated to high point 1026 and off the hill down the NW ridge, I did stop for a while and see if I could spot the other group, but with me having a bit of an epic I figured they were long gone, not to mention vis at only 30m and severe wind chill it was pointless and time to get off, hope the lads are OK. Not a bad walk down the ridge but lots of areas of wind slab to avoid, by the time I reached the gap the wind had picked up a lot and the windy ridge was a laugh, tomorrows weather coming in early. Again I picked up my footprints but saw no sign of the lads footsteps, after that i spent a long time looking over my shoulder but didn’t see anything, again hope the lads are OK, still nothing I can do anyway. Back in the van, kit off and down to the “Active Pursuit’s cafe” for tea and chocolate before, now a few pints in “The Old Bridge”. By the way it was only when I got the cafe I realized after looking at the book, I’d climbed K9, almost!!