Cruach Ardrain Y Gully

Sunday 16th March
There was a debate about whether we should cross one at a time as the bridge weight restriction was 3 tons!
The approach has considerably changed since our last visit, the forest having been clearcut.
It was difficult to pick out the old approach line to Grey Height, remember that's where Julie had to be rescued from being a stick in the mud.
A new graded path is very welcome.
Andy had difficulty with the deer fence...........
Winter snow cover was lean today and we hoped that 'Y' gully on the west face would have sufficient depth to play in.
We observed three dots in the gully; climbers toiling up to the summit.
They seemed frozen in place, moving very, very slowly.

Our progress across Coire Ardrain was exhausting, soft deep conditions sapping energy.
The snow became much firmer in the gully and we formed a tight little party.
A snow profile didn't give any indication of unstable conditions, however there was plenty of avalanche debris.
Bill led the way and negotiated the icy bit, cutting steps.
Julie walked casually upwards.
The day improved, it became pleasantly warm, unfortunately the steepest part was ahead.
We could see why the party of 3 we had watched had been moving so slowly, they were roped and had used traditional belay methods. We discovered it was a guide and 2 clients.
We found it too hot on this section, are we ever satisfied?
The girls posing on the suprisingly bare summit ridge.
(too cold for that kind of bare)
After pictures and drinking in the view we wandered down the ridge to Grey Height.
(This is the Gray two, at Height!)

Views westward were very pleasant.
It was a very contented group that meandered homewards. A good day out.
Andy to Bill, 'I wonder what Ben Lui is like?'

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