Ice climbing at last.
Standing at the top, the water that was running down the ice we had just climbed was being blown up and over the top onto our jackets where it froze instantly. The temperature had dropped markedly during the day and it was freezing on top but the water was still running down the ice. It takes a while for the freeze to take hold of the ice and to firm up the snow. Despite this it was a great climb up Quartzvein Scoop on Beinn Udlaidh and a nice bit of ice climbing straight after the wee thaw and on a pretty soggy day.
Mick and I took a gamble that the thaw and rain to the summits last night had not stripped away all the ice at Beinn Udlaidh. Quatrzvein Scoop was climbed a few times yesterday and it was a very brief thaw so we were quite hopeful that it would be OK. We also hoped that the colder weather today would refreeze the ice quickly. We got the first bit right and I don't think we were wrong about the second bit but it takes a few hours longer than we gave it to refreeze I guess. The climbing was very nice but some of the ice was detached and other bits were a bit cruddy. More worrying was the huge icicle hanging over the route at the top. Thankfully none of these hazards were a problem to us and we had a great climb. For such a well known climb, it's surprising that this was the first time I had climbed it. Still lots of ice up there and it will be much better to climb for the rest of this week than it was today.
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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.