It’s great to see that the climbers are out in the Northern Corries after the first snows of winter. To climb in these short days with not much daylight means you have to be organised. The snow ploughs have been out gritting already.
In my winter climbing days it was always a race to get the first route in. That was usually won by the late Andy Nisbet. In the days before the internet news still travelled fast. We would often hear and get a call about our climb from Andy. Telling us that it was not a new route but wanting information. He was encyclopaedic in his knowledge of Scotland and it’s climbing. What a great miss he is with his wild beard we often met and had a chat walking off after route in the Cairngorms when the weather allowed. When the first snow falls I always think of Andy. Steve and Andy were killed on Ben Hope winter climbing on 7 Feb 2019
So of it stays cold the Northern Corries will be busy. There is something about winter climbing especially on a wild day. The early start, the big bag, trying to stay warm. The Faff of your first route and then the face cleaning blizzard on the way home. Even very familiar descents at times have to be concentrated on.
Top Tip: Navigation is so important no matter how experienced you are. Check the weather forecast and when it starts the Avalanche forecast.
So if you see an old guy wandering about coughing just think that old guy used to climb some of these routes. That first climb is so important as you get to the top but it’s not over till you get back to your car. Then you have what can be an tricky drive home.
So go an enjoy, be safe and have fun.
Start of Season 2022/23 – Be Alert to Early Winter Snowpack Instabilities
A standby avalanche forecast service will be provided mostly for the Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber regions during the months of November and early December. In collaboration with Met office meteorologists, future weather patterns will be monitored. When significant blanket snow cover is likely to be present in the mountains SAIS avalanche forecasters will carry out field observations and produce public avalanche hazard reports. Lochaber reports will be a good reference for the western highland ranges and Northern Cairngorms reports for the eastern highland ranges Daily Avalanche Information Reports for the 6 operational areas of Lochaber, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms , Northern Cairngorms and Torridon regions will be issued from Thursday 15th Dec 2022.
Have fun !