Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Windy in the Northern Corries!

The forecast for today was not too bad apart from the wind - gusts up to 80mph were predicted. So when I woke to pouring rain it was a struggle to get out of bed. In fact if it wasn't that Bryn was heading over from Fort William I probably would have stayed put! Thankfully as we drove up to the ski area car park the wet weather cleared through and blue sky appeared (well some small patches). We strolled into the corrie in worsening wind and decided to try a route on the Mess of Pottage (don't now why this cliff was given this name!).

As we cramponned up to the base of the buttress we were buffeted by some big gusts. At times I had to get down on my knees and dig my axe in for support! It did make going uphill easy but there were a few times when I felt like I might actually be blown up the cliff! Because of the wind we decided to do Jacobs Ladder a nice short grade 1, which we climbed quickly on good neve. Once onto the plateau the wind didn't seem as bad and the visibility was good giving views over to Ben Macdui. With more wet weather on its way we scurried down the ridge back to the car park. We arrived just as the snow storm hit and by 1.30 we were tucking into an all day breakfast in the Mountain Cafe.
The forecast for the rest of the week gets worse - freezing level is up and down and the wind is forecast to get stronger - up to 100mph by Thursday and Friday!

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