Well I was hoping that my first post in a very long time would be a winter climbing one! Well it is and it isn’t! I’m Back up in the Northern Cairngorms again over Christmas and I’m hoping to get a climb in somewhere in Sneachda. Walking in it was clear that Last nights rain had washed away most of yesterdays snow, rather than the consolidation hoped for. The refreeze also seamed to arrive late and not as strong as expected, so arriving in the corrie it was cup of tea and decision time. Looking up at the Mess of Pottage I spotted a team on the first pitch of “the Messenger” so though it might be worth a look. I had an initial look at the direct start to hidden chimney but quickly realized that wasn’t a good idea for a first solo of the season so moved round onto an easier line on the right. Unfortunately if became clear after 15m that any turf under the snow wasn’t frozen enough. So rather than destroy the turf and probably kill myself in the process, both of which are best avoided, I abseiled off into Jacobs Ladder and called it a day, leaving behind a nut and my favorite screwgate.
It wasn’t all bad news though, it was still good to get out and blow the cobwebs off, check some new gear etc and confirm how unfit I have become! On a brighter note as I left, the freezing level had dropped down to the carpark, there was more showers filling in routes and the tops of the easy gullies were starting to fill. Boxing day looks a good day if the showers ease off, will still be mixed routes though. Tomorrow job is to retrieve my screwgate!