The ever-changing weather means that I will have to watch today as the forecast has gone down hill since yesterday. I have a friend who wants to experience winter conditions so we will go and have a look it may be a goggle day ? It will be interesting to try to get the kit sorted out and a reminder of the difference between winter and summer mountaineering, you always learn. High winds are forecast so we will have a slow drive to the Cairngorms and see how it is? It will not stop those who are dedicated to winter climbing as the early snows attract a few hardy souls but the walk back across the plateau can be wild so take care.
Weather Cairngorms Westerly: typically 45mph, but sudden gusts mainly near showers to 65mph. Typically 450m (but varying as precipitation comes and goes).
-4C. Bright sun in and out.
The air very clear – but occasionally appalling visibility in snow. 70%
Cloud rare below 750m, and mostly 1000m or above, with summits particularly those
accessible from Deeside often cloud free. Confined to higher slopes
Sudden snow and hail showers; sometimes frequent. But dry periods, perhaps extensive
on summits accessed from Deeside.Snow & hail showers.
Widespread considerable buffeting, even on lower slopes! Not so good!
Ready for the weather! The goggles and balaclava are an essential on a wild winters day in Scotland do you have them? As is a torch daylight is very short in December!
I am trying to get in touch with an old climbing partner Ian ( Jock ) Cameron who I met at RAF Valley Mountain Rescue in Wales we had some superb times together and what a climber. Jock was a real character and we did some wonderful climbing in Wales and Scotland, he was smaller than me and just as wild , from Glasgow. He said he would change me from a walker to a climber well he never did that but we had some wild times. He was always smoking and leaving his lighted fags on the holds, giving me a slack rope when I was scared but a talented climber. He was about 5 foot nothing (I was the tallest) but so classy on the rock or ice a real well-balanced climber and could solo what he climbed. We had a great winter in Wales 1980/81 and did so many routes in the Black Ladders, Devils Kitchen and the Pass. We made a great team and shocked a few with the routes we did then. Jock was posted to Scotland with me and again we climbed many of the Classics in Scotland . We loved that time in Wales and the best memories are of Tremadoc the Pass, Idwal and many other great cliffs. In Arran we had a falling out and then climbed South Ridge Direct and nearly missed the ferry I had to wear my boots on the climb as he did it in his! We had great days in Glencoe his favourite place Rannoch and Slime Wall and the Ben but in Skye we had superb days long climbs on many of the cliffs. Clachaig Gully in three hours only roping once was terrifying but I got him back on the traverse of the Aonach Eag both ways back to the car at the end of the day.
I wonder where he is can you help?
We had some fun and were always arguing he hated hill walking and was a climber first and foremost. He was a wee softie really and lent me his car many times and what days we had together it was about 10 years we climbed as a pair. I last heard of him after he left the RAF living near Loch Ness and into Sailing about 15 years ago if anyone knows of his whereabouts I would love to hear from him.
Sorry about the photo Jock!