Up in the North East Corrie of Beinn an Dothaidh with a Falkirk team of John, Gayle, Brian, Jason and Paul. I climbed Stairway to Heaven via the direct start with Jason and Paul. John climbed Taxus with Gayle and Brian. Both routes, with the exception of the direct start (IV,5 in the 2008 SMCJ), felt a grade harder than the guidebook grades due to conditions. Two other parties in the corrie one climbing West Gully and another on Stairway to Heaven.
The snow had only partially consolidated and had a snow ice layer with a light dusting over the top, breaking through the snow ice layer resulted in a fair bit of wading and the odd surf board size slab wanting to relocate itself. Turf was well frozen where exposed, but soft where insulated. Some ice has formed, enough to just about allow Taxus to be climbed, but things like Femme Fatale didn’t look in yet.
Beautiful morning with winds lighter than forecast. Wind remained light, but changed to a southerly during the day with light snow showers later in the afternoon these turning to rain below 600m on the walk out. Below freezing at crag height all day.