Assisting Adele Pennington yesterday, we kept our heads down and visited two very good little hills above the West Highland Way, just an hours trek up from Lagangarbh. Fine views all day in between the wicked squalls, no avalanche hazard to speak of and good practice with map, compass and GPS. Obviously from the attached photos, I drew the lucky card:)
Finally! A brilliant day and no rain. A dry wind is blowing from the east-south-east, pushing away the Atlantic depressions. But not for long I’m afraid! According to many teams who have been up climbing, the unconsolidated snow is making for laborious progress. One group with Chris Thorne took the first pitches of Route One on the Great Buttress of Carn Dearg, as far as the traverse off to descend beneath the Curtain. They reported loads of snow clearing, reasonable gear, but nothing very icy or frozen. Any turf is buried deep beneath the snow and therefore not much use, or solid.
Storms arriving again shortly.
Poor visibility and windy conditions reported by teams arriving back at Calluna Slow going on Castle Ridge and mixed conditions on Green Gully.
Teams out today on the Douglas Boulder (S.W. Ridge) reported a lot of snow. This is also the case higher up the mountain as snow has continued to fall over a number of recent weeks. Check out the Avalanche Quiz from Glenmore Lodge to see how much you know and hopefully avoid being part of the statistics
A much better day today and some teams ventured out onto Number Three Gully Buttress, reporting poor conditions. Another groups climbed Green Gully and some were on Tower Ridge. Tomorrow it looks set to deteriorate in the afternoon. The avalanche potential still requires respect, even though some climbers have succeeded today, an increase in wind strength and/or temperature will transport and deposit less solid areas and develop more hazard overnight.
Thanks to Mike Anderson for this report……Out in Zermatt, lots of recent snow but not a great base which does not make for much off piste as you can easily go through to rocks. Weather very cold at present and more snow expected this weekend…..Thanks Mike, we have a rare fine day to start with in Fort William.
At Calluna and Alan Kimber Mountaineering Sue and I wish you all best wishes from 2014. If any of you reading this, have photos of days out in the coming year, from anywhere in the world, please send us a report for posting.