John and i were out on a staff training day today in Coire an Lochain(Cairngorms) looking at the skills required for guiding winter routes. We arrived in the corrie under a blue sky but with strong winds. The buttress containing routes such as Astroturfer appeared to be in good condition but we opted to climb Iron Butterfly. The route was in excellent condition giving four pitches of good snow ice climbing.
While climbing the route the weather seriously worsened requiring very careful navigation to find the Goat Track and four short abseils down the Goat Track area as we were concerned with the snowpack (to walk off by this point would have been very very difficult). Soft slab is building very quickly in the current conditions and will require careful route choice.