A Windy Aviemore, Scotland

For once I decided to book a trip to Scotland in advance, a stupid idea, which is regularly rewarded with sitting in whatever accommodation I have paid for looking out to the not so pretty weather!

 

This time was nearly of the same old song… We spent 2 days toiling with boredom and a short trip imitating Michael Jackson in the wind and practicing ice axe arrest, crevasse rescue and dug a small snow cave/hole on a wind-protected slope.

 

We were able to book another couple of nights and therefore extend our weekend by a couple of days. Luckily being at university I can afford the time off!

 

On the Sunday we managed to get up early and get out in the mountains. We headed to Coire t’Sneachda with the plan to do Invernookie, but as the weather was so good there was a ton of people out in the hills and started up Fiscalli Couloir instead. We soloed this for the most part, but did rope up for one pitch at the end, as the ice seemed a little loose. Once we topped out the weather changed a little for the worse, and whilst high on the mountain we endured a white out, which was my first, however we were able to easily navigate the route back to be car park. A hearty evening meal and an early night we were up again, this time set on Invernookie.

 

After the same walk in as the day before, it was clear that due to it being a weekday the hills were less crowded and we started up Invernookie, whilst kitting up we were past by a soloist, so impressive watching someone risk it all. This route was really impressive, and by far one of the most fun routes that I have done in the Scotland and just in the grade for my ability. I seconded the first pitch that was nice and easy, and lead the second, a great move in the middle, stepping from one face to the other, a really nice move! I missed the last belay point and had to build a spider web of gear into a micro cave to keep myself attached to the face whilst bringing up my second. This belay was popping bits of gear out left right and centre as my second was coming up, a little unnerving to be frank, but as I’m writing this I managed to survive, although a lesson learnt, better to down climb that to bodge the belay!

 

We completed the same walk out as the day before and made our way back safely. It was a fantastic day out and was defiantly worth extending the trip as if not would have completed zero days in the hills; it was only the extension that got us out. I really hope to be back in Scotland in the near future!

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