2012 kicked off with a wee excursion to Central Scotland staying at Raeburn Hut. Nothing like the winter of the last two seasons, with sparse snow and slim pickings in terms of winter conditions.
So opted for a Munro and climbed Stuchd an Lochain in Mamlorn. Apart from the very long drive along Glen Lyon and back to Raeburn, this was a good day out on the hill. Very little evidence of winter however.
This picture is taken a couple of weeks later looking south from Meall Buidhe.
So following day opted for a high crag - climbing on Creagan Cha-no on east side of Cairngorm overlooking Strath Nethy. No guide, no topo, all quite exciting though very little snow and certainly not enough to justify claiming a new winter route.
Climbed a ridge like feature at the southern end of the crag, Ian leading, no crampons no axes. Felt quite alpine in all but scale, which of course is microscopic. Had to put crampons on, en route, so-to-speak as the top 20ft was iced. Hardly warrants a grade even – v.diff (escapable) – but at least justified carrying a rope that far.
Sunset/evening very early at that time of year so good views and fantastic feeling before dropping back to car, in the gloaming.