Sunday, 29 January 2012

28th and 29th January - Indoors and out!

Anna having a go after a long day of climbing

Connor demonstrating proper crampon placements

Anna on the long walk in

Corryhully bothy and Glenfinnan Lodge

Anna on the trudge up to Stob Coire nan Cearc

Approaching the first summit

The ridge begins to narrow...

Anna approaching Streap summit

Looking back up to where we had been

The light fails a long way from the car...
Yesterday Anna and I headed down to the Ice Factor for the day. I was scheduled to shadow some rock and ice sessions to get me ready for some freelance work which will hopefully come my way, while Anna was down to get back into the swing of indoor climbing. She knocked off some great 6a's and 6b's and spent some time catching up with friends. Meanwhile, I was in with a big group of lads on a stag weekend, it was great craic and they all took alot away from their time on the ice. I then did a spot of climbing with Anna on my lunch break, then joined Connor on a rock taster session, before heading into a Hit the Ice session with the same couple. It was great to see another angle on the session, cheers Connor!

Today, though, Anna and I were keen to get outdoors, and we have been eyeing up Streap, a lovely looking mountain north of Glenfinnan, for a while. So, keen to get as much winter experience as possible, we headed off for a bit of a late start (yes, yes ok I slept in!!!). We made good progress in the morning, climbing up a rather wet and slippy Stob Coire nan Cearc before progressing over the ridge, which narrows significantly, to the summit. Visibility was poor, so I made an effort to get some nav practice in, which always helps! The final 100m to the summit was a bit knarly due to the poor snow pack, but we overcame it easily enough. From the summit we struck off SW to hit the bealach of Streap Comhlaidh with the thought of striking northwards and gaining the good track back to Glenfinnan. However visibility was at a minimum, and after making sure we were in the right place we decided that Plan B was the best option, head south into Glean Dubh Lighe and pick up the main road back to the car. Our reasons for this were the avalanche forecast, along with poor snowpack stability at the bealach, lack of visibility and the inevitable lack of detail on the 1:50k map which seemed to omit plenty of crags and cliffs.

It was a long, slow slog down to the valley floor, down some wet and horribly slippy snow. Naturally, as we were about 200m down, the summits all cleared!!! We had a lovely walk through some pleasant woodland as it got dark, and then a long 2mile slog along the main road before spending some time admiring the superb night sky. Overall a solid 20k hillwalk, feels great after a good dinner and shower! Thanks Anna, a great end to my little winter holiday! Back to work tomorrow though :(

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