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Winter walks, Winter climbs

posted 26 Feb 2018, 02:32 by Simon Li   [ updated 26 Feb 2018, 14:01 by Dominic Williams ]
Saturday 24 February 2018 

Coire Kander
Coire Kander Winter climbing 

Armed with limited info and aided by a skilfully drawn Topo based on sketchy UKC descriptions (thanks Dave), we headed off for a lesser known quarter of the southern 'gorms. We didn't however reckon on the forecast 20-40mph winds translating into 60mph+ trying to launch us off the lip of the Coire down Glen Callater, but eventually managed to descend into calmer but still gusty conditions with unrelenting wind chill. Not a venue for warmer conditions anyway we thought as we traversed over piles of re-frozen avalanche debris. Kander Surprise offered some respite and and pleasant climbing without being too serious or committing, a nice way to get back into it, my first proper winter route for about 10 years! It all came flooding back. Rediscovering how to walk 14km in Scarpa Vega's, how heavy a 'light' winter climbing sack is, the "good lead, that was steeper than it looked from below!", and the benefit of sharp ice screws....!

- Iain, Dave

Beinn nan Imirean and Meall Glas
Beinn nan Imirean and Meall Glas

What is a Corbett? I still don't know, but having climbed Ben More more times than I remember I opted for a Corbett instead on the opposite side of the road. The frozen ground made a potential bog-fest very pleasant and before we knew it we were on he summit. Pretty easy these Corbett things. My fingers fell off in the cold during lunch, I hope I didn't swallow too many of them. The ground cover was mostly snow but very rough, incredibly easy to walk on without crampons but useless for bum-sliding. We set off for the neighbouring Munro and right in the middle of the steepest section of snow I found a lone, lost crampon. Scouring the land below I didn't spot a fallen climber so I'm still puzzled. If anyone else has one crampon we could make a pair! Still, it worked great in my hand for extra grip. The panoramic views from the summit were astounding. We only saw three people all day, surprising given the perfect conditions.

- Andrew, Allan