After waiting for good weather the last, the crew finally managed ski gardh choire on wedensday 18th. There has been significant snow loss at low altitudes, with just enough at higher elevations for a good descent. The freezing level is due to drop to 800 metres tonight (Thursday) then rise to about 900 metres on friday. The weather into next week isn’t looking to great still with more mild northerly air blowing in.
The plan was to skin into allt coire fionn, then up the south west face of sron na gaoithe onto the ridge. Because of significant snow loos since friday, we had to go the long way via meal odhar and glas moal. The weather in the morning was overcast with low clouds on the summits and light rain. By 12.00pm the clouds cleared to give blue Sky's and some high clouds. The temperature at the car park (649 meters) was +4 for most of the day, but the temperature did droped back down a couple of degrees later on.
From the park park we skinned up sunnyside and down into the meal odhar valley, then onto the M.O ridge to the summit of glas moal. From the summit we headed north east to cairn of claise (1064 meters). There wasn’t much snow on the high flats. So we had to bootpack the last 2 kilometres across a mix of grass, rocks and snow to the summit. The hike wasn’t to bad, due to it been pretty much flat, until the last kilometre.
On the summit of C.O.C we had some food, water and a smoke before we dropped into gardh choire. Before i go any further, cairn of claise is our 4th munro we’ve bagged this winter, plus a couple of corbetts as well.
The snow conditions in the top section of gardh choire, was actually pretty good spring like snow, but a wee bit wet what made for tough skiing. Lower down the snow got really sticky and patchy for the last 200 meters. We then skinned up the north east face of sron na gaoithe onto the ridge and back into the ski area. From the bottom of the glas moal poma we decided to skin around a short north facing slope above the allt coire fionn and back onto the meal odhar ridge, then descended down to the tom dearg poma. By this point we were pretty beat, so instead of skinning up the T.D trail. We sneaked on to the lift instead to save some time to get back to the car park.