999 is a brilliant wee route on the west flank of Gearr Aonach. Walk in towards Coire nan Lochan and follow the stream that comes down to the bad step on the path or go higher up the path and double back on yourself. The route is a chimney of stacked blocks with a tight squeeze chimney at the start and brilliant technical mixed climbing with a deep hole in the chimney below you all the way. It is graded III in my guidebook but it's more like a IV,5. Be warned! When the turf is frozen go and search it out, it's great fun!
John and I climbed 999 and got to the top at 12.30pm so we went into Coire nan Lochan in search of more climbing. We had a leisurely amble up Dorsal Arete which is also great fun. We did the groove pitch in the very last buttress which I've never done before and it was fun. The sun came out and the clouds parted when we were at the top so we got some nice views. The rocks were well rimed up and teams were enjoying climbing Scabbard Chimney, East Face Route, Central Grooves, Raeburn's Buttress, NC Gully and Crest Route. The wind was gusting up the crags making it feel quite a blustery day.
We could see over to Church Door Buttress for a moment which also looked a bit rimed up and the approach slopes have broken rocks. Aonach Dubh West Face also has snow on it and the buttresses there look good to climb. Tomorrow will be much the same as today for the weather before it starts to warm up for the rest of the week.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.