On the last day of Kiernan's launch into the world of mixed climbing we went to Douglas Boulder to climb Jacknife and SW Ridge. Jacknife is a great pitch of V,6 climbing with a tricky last groove to the belay ledge. The digging required today made it all the more absorbing! Kiernan and I then swung leads to the top of the boulder before descending the East Gully of the gap.
SW Ridge was a popular choice today as well as Ledge Route. There was a team making a late start to NE Buttress, one on Moonlight Gully and a team on Carn Dearg Buttress (Centurion I think). It was cold, calm and very pleasant for climbing today and there is a layer of soft powder everywhere - the skiing will be magic!
On the way up we saw debris from an avalanche out of Observatory Gully that had turned at the foot of the gully and headed towards the CIC Hut. It only stopped when it go to within 50m of the hut! The big avalanches I've seen out of Observatory Gully have all gone straight towards the Allt a'Mhuilinn. To turn towards the hut and very nearly reach it is quite remarkable. Yet another big slide at about the same time as the great slab in the Cairngorms went.
It's been said before but this is an amazingly snowy winter and big avalanches have been occurring as a result. Eventually all this snow will turn to ice. In the meantime the best ice is on Carn Dearg Buttress where Gemini is getting fatter and The Shroud is fat.