Friday, 30 November 2012

Winter climbing, Hidden Chimney in The Cairngorms.

Andy Spink climbing the top pitch of Hidden Chimney.

Liam at the bottom of Jacobs Ladder.

Hidden Chimney grade III, Liam following up the last pitch.

Today was my first day out winter climbing this season and it was brilliant to be back out and climbing in the Cairngorms. HPL's Winter Courses are booking up and if the conditions continue it will be a good one for all! I was climbing with Liam Irving, who had climbed it yesterday and recommended it. It was in fantastic condition with plenty of rime and snow to hook into. It was also fun to climb a route in the Northern Corries that i had never done before. Interesting and fun climbing through tremendous scenery. The weather was slightly over cast, yet the temperatures seemed low enough for the turf to be starting to freeze up. I also saw Max Hunter who was heading to do 'The Seam', I am sure he will have had a great day out too.
Yesterday I was working down at Ratho Climbing Wall teaching leading skills to the students from West Highland College. It is a huge indoor arena with a huge variety of climbs and boulders to be had for all abilities and level. It was however colder inside than outside yesterday! Always fabulous to be back on the hills what ever I am getting up to. The skiing looks great at Cairngorm and they are planing on opening for the weekend. Winter has begun!