Monday, February 22, 2010

Bynack More

The good weather continues in the Cairngorms. I had (another) fantastic day skiing over to Bynack More via Ciste Mhearad and Allt a Choire Dhuibh.

As I’d never been down the east side of Cairngorm, I was slightly concerned about the grade ‘IV/Black Run’ status given to the descent in the SMC’s Ski Mountaineering guide. Could I get down a black with tele cable bindings and rather less than honed skills?

I consulted, Martin Dean who initially said that he couldn't remember any problems but followed it up by saying that he’d just looked at the map and couldn't remember anything about the crags. Fortunately I bumped into local skiing expert, Callum Scott in the ticket queue who said that I would be ok. I was reassured and ignored the fact that Callum had never actually seen me ski before.

It was minus 16’C when I left the house and it seemed extremely cold when I stepped out of the Ptarmigan Restaurant. After a couple of warm up runs I made my way over to the head Ciste Mhearad. I needn’t or worried. The snow was superb and the angle very steady, probably the kind of angle you would expect on a blue run.

I skinned up at The Saddle and headed up over A’Choinneach and across to the south ridge of Bynack More.

Descending to the col between Bynack More and Bynack Beg was steep at first but eased into the head of Allt a Choire Dhuibh. The 450M descent down the twisting stream bed to Strath Nethy was just amazing; beautiful scenery and perfect snow.

Skins back on again for the climb out onto the north ridge of Cairngorm. From here it is possible to glide back to the Ciste Car Park in 20 mins or so.

I’m not sure what time I left the lift system but I got the 9am train up and was back at the road by 12.50pm

Skis: K2 Shuksan 177cm
Bindings: G3 Targa Ascent
Boots: Scrarpa T2

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