Nic and I were out today with Mark doing a combined basic winter skills/introduction to winter climbing day for Ratho. We headed in to Coire an Dothaidh and did some movement skill work on the way in and looked at safe route choice. Plan A was to climb a route on Creag Coire an Dothaidh, but the rain on a fresh Westerly wind was stripping the crag of ice quickly and the turf was softening up so we changed to Plan B and nipped on to Beinn Dorain and used an excellent little ice outcrop to climb ice pitches of about 25m in length. Mark took to this quickly and climbed steps of 4 within his first couple of pitches of ice climbing.
Fresh Westerly winds with rain up to circa 800m at least. This was stripping the snowpack particularly on west facing aspects. Turf softening up at crag height where saturated. The remaining snowpack was becoming saturated to full depth.