Crystal Ridge (Difficult****), Coire Sputan Dearg, Ben Macdui. The steep route directly in centre-frame.
"Crystal" is a word that I guess we associate with quality, clarity and flawlessness. How fitting then that such a totally perfect day today was based around soloing the classic Crystal Ridge (Diff****) of Coire Sputan Dearg.
From the fiery but silent dawn to the immaculate reflections in Loch Avon, to the unbroken hot sunshine and the superb quality of the route itself, this was one of those rare perfect days that sit a cut above the rest.
I could have written a lengthy blog post, but I think this time I'll let the photos tell the story.
The Spey valley at 5:30am
The stunning Loch Avon Basin
Harebells by Loch Avon
Coire Sputan Dearg, Ben Macdui. A 3 hour walk-in from any direction.
Crystal Ridge, one of the great classic routes of the Cairngorms. To begin with you mainly climb on the left side of the slab, and then move onto the arete higher up.
Looking up the main slab. Superb climbing.
Past the main difficulties and onto the ridge crest.
Immaculate rock and some good exposure.
Remarkably dry conditions in Coire Sputan Dearg
Scorching sunshine over Braeriach.
Does it get much better?