walkhighlands

Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.

Coire Ardair and Ice Cream Castles in the Air

Coire Ardair and Ice Cream Castles in the Air


Postby litljortindan » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:08 pm

Date walked: 05/04/2015

Time taken: 7.5 hours

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 800m

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).



Wanted to do this walk around the corrie edge to get a look at the cliff tops. Started walking at 7.10am in soggy mist but soon emerged into hazy sunshine and then into crystal clear air. Path excellent until I had to cross snow patches which were surprisingly deep in places, as evidence by how far I fell into them. Still, no back pain as a result made me happy. A look ahead to the window filled me with dismay as it looked awfullly snow filled and perhaps avalanche prone. So I thought a walk up to the loch and back may be in store but on such a nice day that didn't bother me too much. Once at the loch I decided to go ahead bit by bit to see where I could get to. I had micro spikes and walking poles and had the silly notion that I could improvise a shortened pole into an ice axe substitute should the need arise.
It was clear that the snow was very deep here as there was no evidence at all of the underlying scree and, at the slightly steeper top section, I felt I might be taking a little bit of a chance of a slip or of the snow collapsing. So up and over as fast as I could manage and I made it to the window.
I was surprised by how little distance I had to cover to get to an easy angled route to the plateau and I was impressed by how well the microspikes stayed on my boots as compared to crampons or at least one of them did! This I discovered when on one of the few icy stretches I encountered when I felt my foot slide and I thought to myself well they stay on but there's no grip there then noticed that there was nothing attached to my left boot. The buckle must been bent back in one of the snow hole tussles I'd had along the way.
Onto the plateau proper and there were magnificent views of the way ahead, to Cairngorm and to Ben Nevis.
The snow was mostly pretty soft with the occasional hard patch and some icy parts. The down side of all the big cornices for me was that I couldn't really get to the cliff tops views I wanted too well, just the occasional breaches here and there -still pretty spectacular though. Was passed by one speedy gonzalez on my way along the eastward ridge and then met a small party of skiers on their way up a bit lower down. Their ski tracks were helpful for finding a hole free route down though the soft snow made for pretty easy going as did the grass, heather and bog at the bottom. A large pile of avalanche debris at the foot of the ridge was the last spectacle of the day.
Straight home only to be chastised by my wife for being late and then out again for a five mile forced march / romantic stroll round the local lanes!

Image

Image
looking back at the soggy mist / inversion

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
looking up to the window -mostly softish, deep snow along the way with one or two holes to fall into

Image
Cairngorms to the east

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
too steep to ascend here but didn't take long to find an easier slope

Image

Image

Image

Image
one of the sticky out bits I'd been looking forward to seeing -too little contrast for a decent picture but still a dramatic spot

Image

Image

Image

Image
distant Ben Nevis

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
skiers on their way up


our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Last edited by litljortindan on Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:11 pm, edited 10 times in total.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Coire Ardair

Postby rockhopper » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:07 am

cracking day for it - and a great set of photos as usual !
also find microspokes useful as well as being practical - cheers :)
User avatar
rockhopper
 
Posts: 6692
Munros:282   Corbetts:218
Grahams:64   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:2
Wainwrights:3   Islands:19
Joined: May 31, 2009
Location: Glasgow

Re: Coire Ardair

Postby litljortindan » Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:24 pm

rockhopper wrote:cracking day for it - and a great set of photos as usual !
also find microspokes useful as well as being practical - cheers :)


Thanks Rockhoppper. Yes, it's a nice place they've got there at Loch Lagganside.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Coire Ardair

Postby simon-b » Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:03 pm

A truly awesome coire, and some great pictures.
User avatar
simon-b
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1970
Munros:282   Corbetts:30
Grahams:7   Donalds:12
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:155
Wainwrights:214   Islands:4
Joined: Jan 2, 2012
Location: Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Re: Coire Ardair

Postby litljortindan » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:23 pm

simon-b wrote:A truly awesome coire, and some great pictures.


Thanks Simon, that was a good, clear day. Feels like the centre of Scotland. Need to make another trip now though to see what I couldn't get to because of the cornices!
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

Re: Coire Ardair and Ice Cream Castles in the Air

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:29 am

Some stunning photos, enjoyed this :clap: :clap:
User avatar
Huff_n_Puff
Walker
 
Posts: 1034
Munros:263   Corbetts:17
Grahams:9   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:18   Hewitts:4
Wainwrights:1   Islands:19
Joined: Apr 13, 2012

Re: Coire Ardair and Ice Cream Castles in the Air

Postby litljortindan » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:30 pm

Huff_n_Puff wrote:Some stunning photos, enjoyed this :clap: :clap:


Thanks. It was good to get a nice day to cheer me up after gloomy news at work on the Friday.
User avatar
litljortindan
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1957
Munros:115   Corbetts:58
Grahams:28   Donalds:1
Sub 2000:47   Hewitts:12
Wainwrights:10   
Joined: Dec 11, 2011

1 person thinks this report is great.
Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Walk reports - Scotland

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: blair282, gregdaz, johnkeast, Mal Grey, Silverhill and 51 guests