Another 20cm or so of fresh snow fell today and was blown around by the strong SW wind creating even more very deep drifts and general cover of snow. Skis would have been very useful for Rintje and me to get to Far Eastern Buttress in Coire nan Lochan and we would have had a wonderful deep powder descent as well. However we were on foot and up to our waists in soft snow. A few other people followed us but did not manage to get much higher at all. Lots of people climbed The Zig Zags and Zig Zags Direct and some of those went along Gearr Aonach to descend the corrie like we did.
We climbed Eastern Slant which is nice right now. There is some ice on the climb and some good snow so the climbing is pretty simple. The buttress sticks out far from any slopes with avalanche hazard above and there is a pretty secure approach to the crag as well. So even though it faces east it was a safe enough place to climb. Descending to the south of the crag worked out fine but not being able to see the angle of the slope in front of us did make me very cautious. However it all went well and we waded down the coire having had another world class adventure. The climbing was a nice part of it but mostly, just being up in the corrie with all that snow was pretty cool.
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.