Well, what can I say, except what a magic
On Friday night Graeme, Hannah and myself
arrived in Grantown to meet up with our instructor Richard who
was going to take us out for the weekend. We stayed in the house
in the main street which proved to be very comfortable apart
from the lorries thundering down the road continuously until
4.30am. we found out the next morning that they were heading for
the lorry park for their sleep stop. Needless to say we didn't
Saturday morning dawned quite bright and
dry and after breakfast we headed for Aviemore for some
emergency shopping. That done, we headed for the lower Cairngorm
ski car park where we left the car overnight.
We got geared up with our heavy packs.
Hannah and Richard
We walked into Coire Laogh Mor with crampon
and ice axe instruction on route
We found a likely spot in Corie Laogh Mor
at about GR 010067 for our snow hole at around 11am. It took between 3 and 4
hours of hard digging to get our home from home the way we
wanted it. We were distracted by the Cairngorm mountain rescue
team training when one of them fell down the hill but thankfully
managed an ice axe arrest.
We had a platform for sleeping three and a
platform for one.
After settling in we left our luggage and
headed up on to the plateau to potter about. We did pacing and
navigation and chatted about conditions in winter.
A full depth slab avalanche which slipped
about 8 inches or so and stopped. It was on hill above our snow
We headed towards Coire na Ciche and
circled round back to our snow hole approaching it from above.
Back to the hole
We then had dinner and were in our
sleepbags at around 7pm.
We chatted for a bit and then slept apart
from a trip to the loo which when one went, all went through to
It was a clear and frosty night, not so
Sunday morning which dawned in near whiteout conditions.
We had breakfast and then headed out. We
circled round the hill towards Coire na Ciche and then as it ad
gotten a bit brighter we decided to go for Cairngorm summit.
It was very cold and windy and it closed in
as we gained height. Eventually we reached summit.
After a quick drink and a choc bar we
crossed over to the cairn at windy col and descended by Fiacaill
a choire Chais to the top ski carpark dodging the skiers on
route and where we caught the shuttle bus back to car.
We arrived at car at 12.10pm and set of to
the Cairngorm Mountain cafe in Aviemore for lunch.
a perfect weekend with winter skills, a
good instructor, a snow hole fit for a king, a spectacular
sunset, a whiteout and a Munro summit. What more could you want.
I would highly recommend it as an
And last but not least a big Thank-You to
Adrian who organised it all for us.