Winter walks, Winter climbs (Feb 2018)

Saturday 24 February 2018

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

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