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Saturday, 28 March 2009

No route day

This picture sums up why we did not get a route done today. Here is what happened:

00:45 h. My mobile phone alarm rings. I hardly slept, have a quick coffee and pick up Ryan at 1.30 h.

02:45 h. We arrive at the car park and soon after we start cycling. The cycling is quite good but after about 1 h there is too much snow on the track and we start walking.

6 h-ish We are now walking for ages it seems and drown in deep powder while the Northerly is battering us. Many times we are on our knees in order to prevent the legs sinking in too deep. At least there is light now.

7 h-ish. We reach the col and the wind is ferocius but as soon as we descent into the the corrie it is less although still strong.

8 h-ish. We reach the bottom of the route. It catches the icy blast badly. We change our base layer and we argue whether we should climb, wait until the afternoon or start the 10 mile walk out. It takes two to climb and we decide to return. The picture below shows me at a time when the winds died down for a few seconds.

10 h-ish. Still gale force winds and some bad whiteouts (see first photo). We have to cross a stream but due to the snow we can't see the banks. When I try to jump the snow collapses and I am up to my thigh in icy water. Ryan does better but still gets wet.

11 h.We finally reach the fairy glen and get a bit out of the wind but in many places there is deep powder. My lens is covered with frost and parts of the pictures are blurred.

12 h. We reach our bikes but now there is in many places a lot of snow on the track so we have to push the bikes at times. Other bits are better and we can cycle. We have to cross two big streams. Where are the blue skies coming from?
13.30 h Finally the car. We drive back to Aberdeen. I need a 'power nap' on the way. We are both knackered.

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