Looks like the Italian side of the Matterhorn and the Monte Rosa peaks will be busier this summer, unless of course you are very wealthy.
This link shows an ongoing struggle between warm and cold air over UK for the next ten days, with the cold possibly edging it. When the high pressure can dominate and bring easterly quarter breezes, the ice climbing should be okay. Fingers crossed! Monsoon weather over the next few days though.
Anyone interested in ski and sail on the Alpine Peaks of West Greenland should visit this site
Had a great day out yesterday with Spike Sellers and Adele Pennington on Mega Route X. The weather was not the best but we gained shelter from the wind at least, although the spindrift proved a nuisance! With the easterly aspect and so much snow and wind, we tested the slopes on a rope on both approach and descent for potential avalanche risks. Today (2nd March) another two teams at least climbed the route. One of the teams were hit by an avalanche on the approach slopes, which had come from above in the Central Trident area. It did not trigger the slope they were on though, thankfully. No injuries though, as far as I know. The route has been kicked around a lot and the thin ice curtain at the start of the crux moves on the first pitch could do with some more freezing material, although it is still possible to climb. Yesterday the ice was very good and first time placements most of the way. Thanks for leading the first pitch Spike and for the video footage
Recent days have seen loads of action on Ben Nevis, with plenty of big routes being climbed. As predicted a couple of months ago this winter is proving to be superb for ice climbing. The avalanche hazard is continually changing, so NEVER be complacent when choosing your lines to climb. Pockets of danger are EVER PRESENT. The CIC Hut has seen a steady stream of good foreign climbers, many led by mountain guides. They come back time and time again to sample what is special about Scottish climbing and in particular Ben Nevis. Check this video by Serge Bazin to confirm how masochistic all climbers are when it comes to enjoyment. Mild and wet weather last night may have effected some of the lower routes, but colder winds are again incoming. Be well:)
East or West..rain or dry? We opted for some dry weather around Speyside. History will say that Orion Face, The Curtain, The Shroud, Vanishing Gully and a host of other parties climbed good routes on the west in the ‘murk’ today. David was looking for some moving along high easy ridges roped, in readiness for a planned trip to the Berner Oberland with Rob Jarvis. Two days out west in the ‘murk’ had clearly made an impression, not only with David, but also with the other guests at Calluna. Most of us convened around the ‘Norries’ and now the drying room is not humming quite as much as normal!
Very recent wintry storms have produced a serious avalanche hazard, so we stuck to the ridges. However, the slight westerly aspect of The Mess of Pottage meant it had been scoured, leaving reasonably safe conditions for many parties. A few teams ventured further right in the corrie and the ridge we climbed became very ‘sociable’, with David likening it to the Hilary Step on Everest. Not that either of us have, or are likely to visit that lofty traffic jam. Some of those present today had aspired to it (twice). Nuff’ said, a great day out, working for Rob Jarvis
As the avalanche category was High risk (4 in old money) and the weather not too great we opted to look in details at self rescue and hoists, in preparation for Dave’s visit to the alps with Rob Jarvis later this year. A progression from indoors, prussiking on the bouldering wall, then setting up hoists in the back yard, to dropping yours truly over a cliff in Glen Nevis, was backed up with plenty of coffee and MCofS video and rope types and Not for the squeamish and from ENSA
Tomorrow the forecast is better in the east, so we head for the sunny Cairngorms (?). Watch this space. By the way, good conditions were reported on Deep Cut Chimney (Stob Coire nam Beith) today.
This set of great photos by Glenn Watson were taken between the 3/10th February. Well done Glenn and Ken and Robin, especially Ken on Point Five Gully.