The thing with Scotland, it can be REALLY awful ;)
The trick is to be in the right place at the right time, whether by good luck or good judgment. Darren and I arrived at the end of a 2 week period when, after some the coldest weather and deepest snow in Scotland for many years, there had been a period when the temperatures had been through the roof. In the Alps, they call it the föhn, in North America the Chinook, and in Scotland they call it the hair dryer. The buttresses below 1100m were black, some remnants of ice held on in the high gullies, and the BMC International Winter Meet had been having some great days rock climbing at Dunkeld and Pass of Ballater.
Enter Perkins and Sheppard, and the temperatures drop and a shedload of snow falls. It's all talent and sophistication on our part, I tell you. 5 days later, we've had days on the Ben, Stob Coire nan Lochan, Aonach Mor, the Northern Corries and (for the first time in about 20 years) a visit to the queen of the east, Lochnagar.
On Aonach Mor we were breaking trail in up to chest deep snow, the first time I've had to do that in Scotland for many years. It should be well set up for a good few days now, with a thaw setting in just after we left on the Friday and now it's gone cold straight after, so conditions should be great.
Meanwhile I'm now back in Chamonix preparing my skis, and Darren is back behind his desk.
Right place right time?