Yesterday I missed the good weather by a day but wanted a wander. The Cairngorms is on my doorstep so it was a lazy start. The road was icy at the Dava Moor and it’s a wild place with a sprinkling of snow.
The roads needed care it was icy yet so many blast past and at the bridge at Grantown a car had skidded and smashed into the bridge. There were Police aware stickers on it.
The Cairngorms were hidden in cloud and I went via Aviemore. I stopped in at Glenmore to see Heather “the Safety “ but she was out but caught up with George and we had a bleather.
I decided to go to the lower car park at Cairngorm and see if anyone was climbing on the cliffs above Strath Nethy. The cloud was down and there was a pair heading of. One was wearing lightweight snow shoes. They had lots of gear and must have been planning to climb. They headed off there was one other car there.
I go enjoy this walk up to the cliffs above Strath Nethy it is a short walk and usually very quite. Today it was hard going no views and the snow deep in places. The visibility was not great and did not look like lifting so the normal one hour walk took me longer to get high. There was some slab about as well as the photo shows.
It was heavy going at times . I decided that there were no photos to be taken and headed down after about an hour and a half. There was no wind thank goodness and though deep in places I was struggling. It was one of these days. I could hear the climbers in the mist but there would be little point. Two parties I think ? Hardy folk.
Off the path it was hard work. A big change from the day before. I had missed the weather by a day. It was definitely winter today.
The Crag features
This small east-facing winter crag was first developed in the 2010/11 season. The cliff has a short approach (less than one hour from Coire na Ciste carpark) and short routes allowing you to climb many routes in a single day.
Whilst it’s still nowhere near as popular as Lochain/t’Sneachda, Cha-no is no longer as secretive as it once was. As such it’s very likely that you’ll bump into other people. However, if you turn up with a mindset to climb anything (including unclimbed routes) as opposed to just the small number of popular routes, you shouldn’t be queueing!
You can download a SMC PDF mini-guide to this crag from https://www.smc.org.uk/publications/downloads/creaganchanofor the price of a coffee – all profits go to the Scottish Mountaineering Trust.
I was soon back at the car and headed home feeling pretty tired limited energy today? Maybe it was one of these days but at least I got four hours out on the hills.
You definitely needed to navigate yesterday and more snow is coming. If going out remember it’s winter. Leave a note and keep your eye on the weather conditions and snow.
Sadly on the Anniversary of completing my Munro’s in 1976 I never got to a Munro but still got out.
Today’s tip watch the roads early in the morning they were very icy yesterday. Worth taking your time.