Winter walk into Coire an – t Sneachda and along onto the Cairngorm Plateau.

surprisingly deep snow in the boulder field in Coire an-t Sneachda

I always try to get out on the hills and even though I had no company today I went over to the Cairngorms to have a wee wander in Coire an-t Sneachda, which lived up to its name of coire of the snows! There were 2 people in front but I caught them up and then had an interesting time in the snow in the boulder field, it was deep in places and took a bit of time to reach the Rescue box situated below the cliffs. No matter how often you walk in here it is very easy to lose the line of the path.

The rescue box in the Coire and the goat track above can be an easy ascent to the plateau and as descent but the scene of many accidents in winter.

 I put on my crampons for the ascent and though there were bits and pieces of ice a frozen rock the snow was pretty soft and even at the top not frozen. The Goat track is a place you have to take care on ascent and even more so on the descent. I met another pair on the ascent and they were heading out to Cairn an Lochan. It was windy but I got some good views and the plateau was an enjoyable walk looking at the gullies forming. There were 2 parties climbing one on the Mess of Potage a steep mixed climb and another pair trying the easy snow climb Alladins Coulior, which  was pretty thin.

Fingers ridge in October snows!

I met another lassie who had come along Fiacaill Ridge and was descending the Goat Track. I came off by spot height 1141 a great place to have a well-earned cup of tea and out the wind which was now about 30 mph. I could see the weather changing and spindrift pouring down some of the gullies and the 2 climbers on the Mess of Pottage just  on the last pitch their voices echoing in the wind. There was a bit of a thaw on the way down about 800 metres and below that it was raining  for the last 20 minutes. A good wee day out and got the feel of crampons and ice axe in use and also getting used to the winter weather. You never stop learning.

Todays tip ; always tell someone where you are going if out on the hills especially on your own!   

Looking across the Cairngorm plateau dark clouds show the weather is changing!

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
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2 Responses to Winter walk into Coire an – t Sneachda and along onto the Cairngorm Plateau.

  1. Tom MacDonald says:

    Mr Whallley, on this occasion did you inform anyone of your whereabouts/intentions ……… maybe that’s why you had no company !!!


  2. heavywhalley says:

    Promises, see you next week!


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