International Winter Meet Day 2

Tom Phillips from the Netherlands battling up Auricle (VI,7) in Coire an Lochain on Cairn Gorm. A continuous blizzard raged during the second day of the winter meet, but despite the tough conditions some excellent routes were climbed. (Photo Hamish Frost)

The weather forecast for February 24 predicted Scotland would be in the eye of a storm but the exact timing of the anticipated heavy snowfall varied from forecast to forecast. Unfortunately, after a calm start it soon started to snow and the blizzards persisted all day.

Four pairs visited Creag Meagaidh, but were turned back by dangerous avalanche conditions on the approach slopes and routes buried in snow. The weather was wild in the Northern Corries, but Murray Cutforth, Tom Phillips (Netherlands), Nicolas Dieu and Michael Poulsen (Denmark) succeeded on Auricle in Coire an Lochain – a good effort in the conditions as this route is no push over at VI,7. A couple of teams visited Ciste Crag (also known as Cranberry Rocks) and climbed a pair of routes apiece in relative shelter on this low-lying cliff.

Across in Glen Coe, two teams climbed North Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor, and up in Stob Coire nan Lochan, Scabbard Chimney and Spectre saw ascents. Four teams made the long haul up to Church Door Buttress. Willis Morris and Steve Towne (USA) were particularly impressive making a possible second ascent of Greg Boswell and Uisdean Hawthorn’s 2016 route Hoargasm (VII,8), followed by Crypt Route (IV,6). Paul Ramsden and Wadim Jablonski (Poland) chose a lower level option and made a rare ascent of Antichrist (VI,7) on Creag an Socach above Bridge of Orchy.

News has yet to filter through from the CIC Hut, apart from Rich Bentley and Seokju Woo’s (South Korea) enchainment of Turf War (V,6) and East Ridge (IV,5) on The Douglas Boulder. Better weather is forecast for tomorrow – watch this space!

The 2020 International Winter Meet – Streap Alba Geamhradh – is hosted by Mountaineering Scotland and supported by the Scottish Mountaineering Club, The Alpine Club, British Mountaineering Council and Salewa.

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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