Today I was out with Keith and Nick, on their first day of a five day Intermediate Winter Climbing Course. With an outstanding forecast, it being half term, and Keith having climbed at a number of venues before, I decided to go to the slightly lesser travelled Far East Buttress on Aonach Dubh.
I climbed Eastern Slant for the first time back in January, and thought that despite the soft snow/slightly unfrozen vegetation, that the route itself was brilliant, and offered some quite unique climbing situations, particularly with the long and well protected traverse on pitch 2, so we headed up to Far East Buttress, but this time, with the sun shining on the crag (last time was very stormy!).
The approach was over firm snow, which made life nice and easy, so we were climbing in no time. Whilst the turf was frozen solid, some of the snow and ice was starting to deteriorate from the sunshine (yes, sunshine!), but the route was in good nick overall.
With it being possibly the nicest day of the year, we decided to make a journey of it and after topping out, we headed round over Gearr Aonach and descended the Zig Zags, which were surprisingly icy.
Many teams climbing on Stob Coire nan Lochan, no one else on Far East Buttress, all change tomorrow!