|Most of the snow gone but still very pretty|
|High in the gully and looking very good. I was tempted to put on the crampons here|
|Final slopes..a bit steeper that it looks here..About 40 degrees on top|
A party of four were up ahead and I was hoping that I would be able to enjoy using their steps in the soft snow and indeed I was until I reached the first rocky step before the gully narrows. Here the rocks were covered in snow-ice and the party decided to stop and put on crampons. The snow-ice was pretty soft and was taking a good step so I left the hardware in the bag and continued on up. Things weren't as bad as I had feared and while I had to wallow the odd time, I was able to make more pleasant progress for the most part. Once I reached the final 100mtrs or so of the gully things were actually quite nice and I was even tempted to put on crampons for the final semi-icy difficult step. I got over it easily enough though and enjoyed the final few metres to the summit. It had felt like a proper winter outing with occasional spindrift slides and rime ice still clinging onto the frozen ground. If there is a frost tonight then tomorrow the conditions would be very nice indeed. The summit remained clear of cloud throughout the day and it was nice to be able to enjoy wintry views as I ate my lunch. I returned to my car via the Heavenly Gates and even though I ached a bit and was tired it felt great to have had a proper winter climb. Hopefully there is much more to come this winter (either here of abroad 😊 ).