Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lochan, Raeburn's

Yesterday (Wednesday) I was working for Jagged Globe with Martin and John.

We headed up into the Lochan and the mist, there wasn't much too see yesterday. The winds however were lighter than expected. We went up and climbed Rarburn's route to keep out of the gullys and away from large quantities of snow.

Nice climbing and not too buried. There was a fair depth on the approach which we were cautious with but at the top it seemed the slightly warmer temperatures were helping to consolidate the slightly damp snow pack.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

East ridge of Stob Ban

Today Dave wanted to concentrate on the art of creating belays. To avoid the snow we headed into the East Ridge of Stob Ban.

There was a fair bit of fresh snow last night and it was quickly being transported around the mountain by the strong winds. The walk-in wasn't too bad just a bit of wading near the end.

Nice climbing on the ridge but high winds higher up. The rope and rack were horizontal.

Lots of snow down the North Ridge.

Monday, 14 February 2011


High avalanche forecast today from the big dump yesterday and possible further snow today - which in the end didn't happen.

Dave and I went up to abseil in and climb Morwind for some grade IV action. There was a lot of snow at its base but the route wasn't too snowy.

There were various others about walking the tight rope by descending easy gully. They got away with it !

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Snow on the Ben

A lot of snow fell last night and during the day. We wanted to climb some grade III so we headed for Faulty Towers which is low down on the Ben. The approach slopes were quite loaded and we pitched up to the base of the South West ridge before watching the grade 1 gully release as the snow continued to fall. In the end we did a 3 or 4 pitches up the route before retreating by various abseils back to the safety of flat ground.

The snow was quite damp all the way up the route with the freezing level obviously higher up the mountain. The snow line is now down below the top car park.

Not easy work today!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

East Ridge of Stob Ban

Snow overnight cleared to give a nice calm day. I was out with Andrew and Andrew today, one less name to remember.

We walked in to the Mamores to the East Ridge of Stob Ban. A great route, 200 m long with grade II and III steps. We looked at a variety of anchors with the opportunity for them to try a bit of leading near the top.

The new snow was quite damp all the way up the route with old neve found higher up. We descended via the North Ridge negotiating the tricky steps then the steep path back to the car.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Thompson's, Ben Nevis

Yesterday was Ice Factor, today though was definitely a Ben day.  Blue skies, no wind, cold. The snow had certainly re-stablised compared to yesterday though there was a bit of new snow high up in the Ciste that was a little suspect.

Last two days I have been working for Jagged Globe. I took Simon up Thompson's Route today which had a bit of crud on the surface but good ice underneath. We topped out in the sunshine and strolled back down to complete an enjoyable day. Others were on Green, No. 3 Buttress, Wendigo, Central, Vanishing, Italian, Faulty amongst others.


Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Evening Citizen plus something else, Lochan

I went up to the Lochan today in Glen Coe with Chris. A little bit of sleet on the walk-in, it soon cleared to give a fine day.

We climbed Evening Citizen first which offered some fine mixed climbing. A little bit of clearing was required as there was a bit of fresh snow covering the crag but with old neve where needed. Upon completion we abseiled back down to climb the top pitch of Intruder we think, but didn't have a guide book with us, just climbing the nicest looking line.

An avalanche came down from above Twisting Gully today and there was a fair bit of fresh snow on the approach slopes too. With warm temperatures tomorrow there will certainly be releases before it stabilises again with colder temperatures forecast on Thursday.
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Monday, 7 February 2011

Aonach Mor with more snow

Keen to give my knee an easy day I headed up the gondala with Chris for a bit of climbing. There was a fair bit of snow overnight, surprised to be kicking through it at the top station. Easy gully was out of the question so we abseiled in and climbed Morwind then Roaring Forties.

There was a fair bit of ice on the buttress though a little crudy for decent screw protection. The bottom of the buttress was fairly loaded, happily releasing on the neve below. It was calm on the crag for most of the day, with just a bit of spin drift later on.

Little variation near top of Morwind

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Raeburns, Lochan, Glen Coe

A generally nice day, I took Jo and James up to the Lochan today with the aim of climbing a fun route while look at a variety of useful skills. I had eyed up Twisting Gully but was out flanked with teams arriving from the left and right. Instead we headed over to Raeburn's Route which was quiet.

Lots of useful neve around with just pockets of fresh snow. In-fact some of the ledges had hard useable layers of ice. In the afternoon there were a few heavy snow showers and a slight increase in wind.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Windy and Wet

Another stormy day up in Scotland.  Today I was working for Abacus Mountaineering with Alex. Out of the various options he went for a skills day, to keep out of the weather higher up.  In the morning we used Onich Slab and the rock beneath Ballachulish Bridge for some dry tooling technique.  He particularly enjoyed the slab which offers a variety of ledges to hook and stand on over 25m. This afternoon we went to the ice factor to develop his ice climbing technique, next stop Point 5 (once the blue skies return).

Higher up the snow level dropped to around 600m at a guess but with a change in temperatures this afternoon it was rapidly being washed into the rivers.  Still with cold temperatures again tomorrow it will give the snow higher up a chance to stabilise.

I have put together a facebook site in my spare time, see Sea 2 Summit Facebook

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Cononish, Tyndrum

Mat and I met up with an old friend Mark French down near Tyndrum. Boats and paddles were certainly the preferred choice of toys today with temperaure above the summits in the morning and loads of rain. In fact on the drive over there was enough to paddle the smallest of ditches.

We jumped on the Cononish (4/5) which was high and offered lots of excitement. Continual array of drops, waves and stoppers led us all the way down.

On the way back I noticed it had started to snow on the tops of the peaks in Glen Coe. Yesterday there was some fresh snow over the old neve but I presume that was washed away this morning.


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

White Water, Loy

Yesterday afternoon I went out with Mat for a pleasant run down the Loy. With Level 5 assessment happening in April I am keen to make the use of the rivers when they are up, plus it was a wet day in the hills. Rain was falling at most levels, still cold again today to re-stabilise any wet snow.