At present the weather is very unsettled and the low level ice of the previous weeks has disappeared or is falling down. The only consolation, is that wet sleet/snow is falling on the high tops and a series of freeze/thaw weather systems will be passing through. In the medium term this is good, as higher routes will be building and if the weather calms down, they will still be intact. A high avalanche risk persists at the moment, so stick to ridges and mixed climbs that are not threatened from above and do not require access over large bowls of snow. Avoid gullies if at all possible. Good route finding is key to survival in these conditions.
Just back. Beautiful day on Ben Nevis, but no one climbing except a few teams on Tower Ridge as far as we could see (which was to Skye from the plateau!). Here’s a few pics which you’re welcome to for your blog. Quite a few traditional routes possible, plus perfect mixed conditions. Lots of clear definition between scoured neve and windslab throughout the corries, so safe travel fairly obvious today. Neve is bullet! We did Green and Comb, the obvious classic choices.
Thanks Tim. Tim is runing the British Mountain Guides winter training course from Calluna this week.
Good ice forming, various routes in, climbed Quartzvien Scoop and a fall on lower tier, all good. Snowy exits but OK.
Talk- ‘Ramsays Round, the classic 24 hour Scottish Challenge’.
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Lochaber’s ‘Ramsay’s Round’ the originator Charlie Ramsay will
give a talk on this long distance hill running challenge which should not be missed by anyone with a
love of walking, running or the hills.
The Ramsay’s Round is a 24 hour circuit of 58 miles taking in 24 summits including Ben Nevis, with a
total climb of around 28,500 feet (nearly the height of Everest). The route was first completed by
Ramsay in 1978, with just 2 minutes to spare he had achieved his dream of circuiting all of the key
Lochaber mountains in a single day.
Charlie will discuss history and development, the physical and mental challenges, the adventure, as
well as providing inspiration for us all.
• Date: Tuesday 19th March 2013.
• The talk will start at 8pm.
• Ben Nevis Hotel and Leisure Club, North Road, Fort William, PH33 6TG.
• The room has 100 capacity, first come first served.
• £1 entrance, payable at the door.
• Organised by Lochaber Athletic Club.
• Further information- firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again to Paddy Cave for these shots taken today on Comb Gully. For myself I was attending an avalanche awareness training day run by Mark Diggins, who coordinates the Sports Scotland Avalanche Information Service We did not have to go too far from the top of the Aonach Mor gondola station before we found isolated pockets of ‘considerable’ instabilities in the snow pack.
Thanks to Paddy Cave for these photos taken on Green Gully today, where the conditions were very good. Approach slopes were scoured and safe at the time.
Very windy over the last 24 hours. Not a lot of new snow falling and very cold. Some folk made progress on to the tops but other retreated in the teeth of the gale. Looks set to continue wintry for a week or so at least. Some ice is forming on the Curtain according to one report, but not enough to climb it.
A lot of the older gear for sale has gone. There are still some Charlet Moser clip on crampons and the new plastic Scarpa Vegas and a very nice pair (45) of Sportiva Extrems and a new pair of G10 heel clip crampons. See below
Grivel G10 mountaineering crampons. New £50.00
Scarpa Vega plastics NEW. Size 5/6/7/8 £75.00
Scarpa Manta NEW. Size 37 £150.00
Sportiva Nepal Extrem. Size 45 £150.00
Lowe Alpine bottle pockets NEW £3.00
Gaiters NEW £3 – £25
Water Bottles NEW £1 – £5
Flasks £3 – £5
Maps (Ben Nevis/Glencoe) 1:40000 £13.00
Winter gloves/mitts £17 – £23
Ben Nevis/Glencoe winter climbing guide £16.95
Chalk Balls £2.00
Chalk Bags £9.95 – £12.95
If anyone is interested and in the area, please drop by for a quick look.
Yesterday a fair flog in deep snow amongst rocks and boulders on Beinn Sgulaird with Fiona. Thought it would be more of the same today. Not so as a good path into the Corrie and less snow on this mountain. Climbed ordinary route on central buttress with Neil McGougan, soft snow so hard for its grade though good sport and more tricky in parts. Just as well there was little wind so comfortable rather than the flying spindrift.
Thanks Robert. Good to see that approaches are starting to consolidate into the popular areas. I think it may all change again when the wind increases in the next few days. The cold weather looks set for at least another week, according to all of the forecasts. Great stuff.