Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Wet tooling... plus a quick dash up Sron na Lairig.

 Sron Na Lairig on a blue sky day

The forecast was terrible with rain, wind and a freezing level above the summits bringing a high avalanche risk. Conditions were supposed to improve slightly in the afternoon so we spent a few hours at Onich Slab working on crampon technique and confidence on rock holds. The north ridge of Everest has surprisingly little snow above 7500m due to the high winds and this proved to be a very useful session which should give SKK the confidence to move quickly and safely along some of the more challenging passages of climbing above 8000m, including the Second Step. Still relatively dry we drove up to Glen Etive to put some more miles and height gain into the legs. We set a quick pace up towards the Sron na Lairig ridge diverting briefly to have a look at the full depth avalanches which had come down the corrie to it's east. Once on the ridge we climbed the obvious groove and snow gullies to the half way ledge. The snow was saturated with water running behind the remains of any ice. With the normal descent route being via the avalanching corrie to our left we opted to descend back down the ridge before a quick blast back to the van.

Significant avalanche debris on our approach

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