CAIRNGORMS, SCOTLAND - 26 OCTOBER 2013: James Hathway at a belay point on Pygmy Ridge, a Moderate graded rock climb in Coire an t'Sneachda, Cairngorms National Park.

I have to remind myself that Scotland wouldn't be as green and beautiful without its maritime climate but when you've been looking forward to photographing a weekend's climbing in the Cairngorms National Park, it's frustrating when the weather doesn't play ball. 

The plan was, with friends, I would walk in on Friday night from the Cairngorms Ski Centre car park and camp in Coire an t'Sneachda. On Saturday morning we would climb the photogenic Pygmy Ridge, walk over to Stag Rocks in the afternoon and climb Afterthought Arete and then spend another night under canvas before we returned home.

Sitting in the Pine Marten bar near Loch Morlich, watching the rain stream down the partially steamed-up windows, we took the easy decision to stay for another pint and camp in the owner's back garden (an advantage of putting money in his till). The MWIS forecast showed decent weather expected in the morning but rain and 50mph gusts were due to sweep in again during the afternoon. Taking advantage of the morning forecast, we were up early and geared up at the base of the crag by 9am, settling for a quick climb up Pygmy Ridge before heading out, chased by the gales, to a nice lunch in Aviemore.