Some early season winter conditions in the Northern Corries meant that a 4:30am departure from Airdrie was required to get up to Aviemore for an early start and try and beat some of the crowds. Upon arriving at the Coire Cas car park at the Cairngorm Ski Centre it was already filling quickly with many people who had the exact same idea.
We left the car park for the walk in to Coire an t-Sneachda with a plan to climb Hidden Chimney but it was already getting busy quickly with a queue forming on the Direct Start, The Slant and The Haston Line. I was more concerned with dusting off the winter cobwebs than getting a specific route done, and Jacob's Ladder looked very lean and tempting, Eve and I decided on this.
The first pitch was pretty straight forward, except an awkward calf burning stance while I waited on another party leaving the belay. The second pitch was done via the right hand side of the gully to add some variation and sport with some interesting mixed moves up slabs and blocks with soft snow and ice cover, and likewise the top out was blocky and mixed.
Descended back to the base of the route so Eve could collect her rucksack, just as darkness set in and then walked back to the car in the dark as a blizzard was setting in.