Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Variations on Zig Zag Direct

Early morning light on Meall Dearg.

After our efforts of yesterday we opted for an easier day climbing a variation on Zig Zag Direct (II/III) on Gearr Aonach. Despite the forecast the day dawned clear with a good freeze down to sea level. The expected strong winds were absent and it was a very pleasant if icy walk up towards the Lost Valley. Once on the Zig Zags we made good progress until a traverse round on to the front of the buttress gave us a series of snowy shallow chimneys and broken ground to the distinctive prow of Gearr Aonach. We made a quick descent of the Zig Zags which are in excellent condition with a good trail through knee deep snow. Other teams had continued along the Gearr Aonach ridge finding a safe descent in to Coire Nan Lochan. However we did see some fresh tracks heading up the avalanche prone Broad Gully which would seem a foolish option given the current conditions!

Sarah enjoying the climbing.

Gareth ready to do battle with copious amounts of snow.

Being checked out by an inquisitive Ptarmigan.

The final flounder to the summit.

Glencoe from Gearr Aonach

Late lunch on the end of Gearr Aonach

The Aonach Eagach in the afternoon light.

A laden Stob Coire Nan Lochan

Evening light towards Rannoch Mor

Homeward bound down the Zig Zags