Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Creag Meagaidh Ice

A stunning day on Creag Meagaidh

Today's forecast was for the freezing level to be above the summits so we headed high and east to make best use of the weather. We opted for Creag Meagaidh which had looked pretty impressive over the weekend. The lower buttresses were black and Staghorn Gully was incomplete but there was plenty of ice still in existence on all the main lines. A team were abseiling off the Pumpkin reporting plenty of running water and falling debris from above. Another team were just finishing Diadem (V 4) so we soloed up The Sash to have a look. It gave a couple of steep pitches on variable ice and an easy exit to the right of a small cornice. The rock belays were good but ice screw runners were purely cosmetic. The Wand also looked fairly fat and will be in good condition with a bit of a freeze. Rob Wills' group were on Glass Slipper (III) which gave a good pitch of ice low down and a romp up the central snow field. We made a quick detour to the summit before descending via the Window.

The Wand (V 5) and our route Diadem (V 4)

Sheila & Patricia belayed below the main pitch

Sheila topping out in to the sunshine

Alpine conditions on the plateau

A sun dog above Creag Meagaidh

Stunning cloud formations rolling off Creag Meagaidh

Creag Meagaidh this evening with the majority of the ice lines complete