Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These 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.

Friday, 3 January 2014

It was a challenging day to be in the hills today! Heavy rain started just before I met up with Fiona and Gordon who were packing up after a night in their new tent. Despite strong gusts of wind over night the tent survived and we quickly set off up the Allt a'Mhuilinn before our resolve ran out.

We needed a good deal of resolve to keep going but we finally got to the foot of Coire na Ciste searching for a sheltered slope to look at some basic winter walking skills. Unfortunately we could not find anywhere at all sheltered. The wind was swirling around the coire in 90mph gusts.

We retreated to the shelter of the CIC Hut for a piece and to sort our layers before heading straight back down the path to the cafe! It was a good day to work out how best to look after yourself in heavy rain and wet snow with wind that will take you off your feet, probably the most challenging conditions you can face. I'm delighted with my new Jottnar gear; it's super comfortable and kept me dry in the conditions we had today. It's not my clothing that will limit what I can do in the hills.

There is of course a very deep cover of snow just about everywhere and getting anywhere is very tough going. The crags are choked with snow and ice and when the storms finally give way we'll have some great climbing conditions. After a nice day tomorrow we'll have a few days of warm, wet windy weather to enjoy but the hint of colder weather in mid-January. Here's hoping.

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