Sunday 4th January

Out again on Cam Chreag on Meall nan Tarmachan today with Simon, Andy & Glenn. Glenn and I climbed Knucklebuster Corner on very solid turf, good ice bosses and a dusting of snow. We mostly stuck to the corner, although it looked like ice could have been climbed to the right at a slightly easier grade. We then descended Easy Gully on good neve with a covering of a few centimetres of fresh/wind blown snow; soloed the first pitch of Maxwell’s Hammer, at about II, on good ice; headed up Fan Gully and descended Cam Gully (SMCJ 2003) on good neve.

On the walk in Simon and Andy spotted ice just north of the “g” of Cam Chreag on the 1:50,000 map and headed up to have a look. Although only short (30m or so) it gave what sounded like an excellent pitch on good ice with 20m or so of grade III slabby ice followed by 4 m of steep icicles (“WI4”). They then wandered over to the crag left of Mackay’s Gully and climbed a turfy II/III and descended Easy Gully. Not bad for Andy’s second winter climbing day.

Turf was very solid throughout. Significant snow cover is limited to the easier angled gullies and slopes below the crags, but is solid neve where present. There’s a dusting of newer snow. Water courses and seepages are generally well frozen. Winds were NW and fairly light throughout the day. It was freezing at crag level throughout the day. On the walk out it started to rain at about 700m, but this may well have been falling as snow at crag level.

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