Sunday, 1 March 2009

Scotland Winter Conditions - Ben Nevis

I was working with some old friends over the weekend who wanted to sample the delights of winter climbing. They had been out in winter only once or twice before, so a full range of skills were covered over the two days.
On Saturday we headed to Cairngorms to enjoy the dry pleasant conditions. The snow had partly frozen overnight allowing for a range of boot and crampon skills to be covered before we made an ascent of the Runnel. The later start meant that most parties were up and out the way.
Today we went up to Ben Nevis, walking up to No. 2 Buttress at the back of the Ciste. We found that there had been a substantial amount of snow overnight above 800m. The freezing level seemed to be only 100 or 200m below the summit so much of this fresh snow was wet. On route there were some good ice pitches, that would take screws, so fun was had by all. A quick bum slide down red burn rounded things off nicely.

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