Cama’ Choire and Carn na Caim

After the success of last Sunday’s trip and with the good conditions holding on Nettle and I chose to revisit Cama’ Choire yesterday (06/04/13). This time after skinning up to pt. 902m from the A9 we skied across to the Allt Mhic an Righ and had great ski descent on excellent snow down the spur on it’s South side to near the junction with the Allt a’Chama’ Choire.

Nettle with the line of last Sunday's route being the furthest right of the gullies
Nettle with the line of last Sunday’s route being the furthest right of the gullies


The gully of yesterday's route
The gully of yesterday’s route. Photo credit: J. Foden

We then had to pack skis and walk up the main burn line to it’s junction with a side stream at Grid Ref. NN68907865. The gully of this side stream was generally easy angled Grade I or less snow, but steepened for a section in the middle. We soloed up to the steep section and climbed two probable new lines. The first a 50m left fork sneaking around a crag on good ice and narrowing before popping out on to the open snow slope above. The second was the main icefall, which gave a good 50m Grade III pitch on excellent ice in two steps. This could probably have been climbed at II to the right, but wouldn’t have been as much fun.

Nettle topping out on the left fork
Nettle topping out on the left fork
The main steepening
The main steepening (the left fork cuts up left from the lowest ice on the left)

Nettle on the icefall

We then soloed up the easy rest of the gully before cutting out and skinning around to the summit of Carn na Caim. The day finished with an amazing ski descent of Coire Bhathaich and traverse around to the burn draining Coire Uilleim, which is holding enough snow to give a lovely fun run back down to around 500m.

Topping out on the main pitch. Photo credit: J. Foden
Topping out on the main pitch. Photo credit: J. Foden

Snow conditions in the area remain great for ski touring, although there has been considerable loss of snow on slopes catching the sun since last week. Some areas of slab remain on west and north facing aspects and on gully exits where cross loading occured, but these are slowly consolidating. Evidence of cornice collapse and point releases due to the effects of the sun over the last week. Snow remaining firm above about 750m during the day even in the sun, but softening up considerably below this. Ice conditions in shaded North facing gullies excellent for climbing, but any ice that has been catching the sun has either gone or is going fast. No precipitation throughout the day. Light Northerly then Westerly winds, with no significant wind movement of snow. Sunshine with increasing cloud cover as the day progressed.

Ski-ing down Coire Bhathaich
Ski-ing down Coire Bhathaich
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