Now the wind has died a lot, conditions can be appreciated more. We still have a ‘Considerable’ avalanche risk on westerly aspects but good route choice and rock anchors will overcome that issue in most places. Be wary of the finishing slopes on any routes, especially in Meagaidh. Thanks to Paddy Cave (Number Six Gully) and Padraig Gibbons climbing with Mike Brownlow on The Pumpkin. Mike is an aspirant guide with BMG. We are very busy just now and full up in the accommodation over Easter.
Today we have the best weather in the UK out west. Unfortunately it involves storm force winds and bitter cold! Still, people have been climbing today and earlier this week. If only the wind would subside, the conditions are immaculate in many places. Thanks to Bruce Poll for the CIC Hut photos and Ken Applegate for the others, especially Sgurr Finnisg-aig today, which proved marginally sheltered with a descent back down the slopes at the side of the route.
By the way I found a pair of decent trainers at the top car park. A full description and the cost of postage (£5) will reunite them with their owner.
Thanks to Ken Applegate who is working for me just now. These photos give a good indication of the very wintry and windy weather today on Ben Nevis. Ken and Justin climbed Castle Ridge today.
Also, contact Jon direct if the ice axe is yours
I was up at CIC tonight and found a tech axe (new fangled type) at the Guides car park. Approx 6:30pm today, 21.03.13. No one at N face car park. A few guys were descending when we went up (5pm). Could the lost axe go on your blog? I will try to log onto UKC and will tell Glenmore Lodge. I saw a rescue guy, will contact them on Facebook. Will hang onto it for a few days then give it to Fort William Police if we don’t hear.
32 Mamore Crescent
Also, thanks to Nigel Hooker for the three photos taken on 1934 Route today. They climbed as far as the abseil from Vanishing Gully before retreating in the spindrift.
Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team is the Facebook page for the local team and they are the busiest in Scotland. Please support them in any way you can.
Thanks to Andy McKenna who owns the VisitFort William website and operates the BenNevis HD WebCam – for these shots taken today. He also runs a very fine self-catering and B&B at the location for these photos.
And from Nigel Hooker (what a name for an ice climber!)
Just soloed Neptune gully as friend I was due to climb with today had to go to dentist – knocked front teeth yesterday – not climbing – DIY jobs! Neptune was in good nick and as it is E facing all scoured and finished up upper buttress variant and the ridge above, neve and ice all the way. Just had to approach by moving around the slab on the scoured patches. Topped out in sunshine which was a lot better than the walk in weather!
See you in the morning
Plenty of new snow has fallen on the high tops and well below 600 metres. The weather is fine though, if rather windy. There are plenty of beds free in the CIC Hut next week so contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. I have space on a winter mountaineering course over the Easter break if anyone is looking for a spot of informative adventure at grade I/II level.
Today it rained until around lunchtime. This was turning to snow on the tops and a fair amount fell to below the CIC Hut. Conditions are still good on Ben Nevis and surrounding hills, although the avalanche hazard has now risen. The weekend looks set to be reasonable, with not too much wind and we have plenty of spare accommodation if you fancy a last minute visit.
John and I visited Creag Meagaidh again. Icefall of The Wand reminded me of French film Parapluit de Cherbourg(:Umbrella of Cherbourg) and American actress Marilyn Monro.
Thanks to Dave Barker for the photos on South Post Direct and Tower Ridge taken earlier this week (Tues/Wed). Today we have had some rain, but not too much and it’s snowing again high up. The first time in a few weeks that a ‘Considerable’ avalanche forecast has been posted by SAIS. It looks set to remain cold on the tops and good conditions continue.