Friday, February 27, 2009

Ben Nevis

The predicted heavy and persistant rain at all levels today was only partly accurate. The rain only started in earnest at about 10am and could have been heavier. It was however raining at the summit and was several deggrees above freezing on the top.

Chris was hoping for some steep ice but as every thing wasstreaming with water we opted for the safety of Thompson's Route on No3 gully buttress. I thought it good training for the waterfall pitch on the Eiger!
Indicator wall was climbed yeaterday but was very thin. I was told (but didn't see for myself as it was misty all day) that Point 5 has a couple of holes in the first pitch. Tower ridge was climbed today also.
No one was on anything hard today and the hill was generally quite quiet.
I'm in the N.W. for the next couple of days but may move about depending upon the conditions.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

NW conditions

Ive been on the North side of Glen Sheil and into Glen Afric for the past couple of days. The corries that face North are holding snow and the easy gullies are mostly complete.

The freezing level came down last night to summit level and fresh snow fell to 800m last night and today. The ground is still deep frozen up high but its outer layer is soggy.

I'm in the NW and on the Ben for the next few days so will post updates when i'm home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

NW and Cairngorms

Ive been working in the NW and Cairgorms recently, the conditions are pretty poor with major snow loss in all area. The N.w is still holding patches and several easy gully lines but all the ice on liatach etc will be gone.
All the major gully lines in the norther corries are complete and saw traffic today from the International meet at glemmore lodge. I'm sure they will drink the place dry this week , but we may get a freeze and snow at the end of the week and some snow, so a similar pattern to 2 years ago at the meet.
I'm in the NW for the next few days and will be away from the PC probably but will hopefully get an update at the weekend and report what the latest weather event has resulted in.
The only pictures i have are of cloud and mist and soggy snow, so I'm not going to bother uploading just now!

Friday, February 13, 2009

NW conditions update

The ice lines on Liatach such as Poachers and Umbrella falls etc have had ascents recently and the conditions are retorted as good.
There is a healthy amount of snow in the NW but no where near as much as in the Cairngorms where a party trying to get into the Dubh Loch (near Lochnagar) a few days ago gave up les than a km from the car park.
I was again on An teallach yesterday. We left the car park just after 6am where it was -3 and snowing. By 9am at 950m it was above freezing and raining heavily. The snow was /is undergoing a period of consolidation (which is needed) and instability at the moment. We witnessed several spontaneous avalanches release, one going right past the spur we were on. We turned around and walked back to the road, noting a loss of snow at valley level in the 6 hours since we left the car.
Instead we went for a look at the 'Corrie Shealach gorge' (Sorry Donald i don't know how to spell this!). This is a low level ice fall venue, have a look at the video.
The thaw will continue for a few days, the snow loss will be more in the NW and West so for the next few days the Cairngorms will be the best option where it will be cooler. The ice should be uber fat when the freeze comes (if it doesn't wait too long).

Friday, February 06, 2009

N W conditions

With the turf frozen before the snow came conditions up in the North West have been excellent this week.
We had snow fall down to sea level yesterday and there is a very healthy covering all the way up the mountains.
The usual ice falls are starting to form up (poachers etc) but are still a bit thin for the guidebook grade.
Here is a short video of An Teallach where i was yesterday.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Skiing in the Alps

I've spent the last week or so using my Alpine Ski Leader qualification to guide groups of skiers in the 3 valleys; Courcheval, Meribel and Val Thorens.
We didn't do every run in the 3 valleys but came quite close! The weather was fantastic with a large dump of fresh snow just before i got out and blue skies all week. There is substantially more snow than the seasonal average out there and they are predicting a long season ahead.

Back in the Highlands I've just seen snow flakes falling outside my window and it is looking like it will be a great week of climbing ahead.

Due to a last minute cancellation i have good availability this week and the weekend for last minute bookings. Get in touch for more info.