Very wintry

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
Nige Hooker

Very cold Lots of snow

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 cichutbennevis@hotmail.co.uk 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.

Plenty of spindrift today

Plenty of spindrift around today. One team returning to Calluna from Vanishing Gully were severely blasted. Thanks to Spike Sellers for these photos taken today.

Rain and snow

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.

A little rain today

Alan,

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.

Yasuyoshi Sakai

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.

The west is best (as usual)!

Hi Alan,

Many thanks to you and Nick last week for a great time on the Ben.  This is a shot of Simon on the final snow pitch of the climb.  Fantastic that we bagged both this and Point Five -just what dreams are made of!

All the best, Gareth

A great three weeks and more to come

This last couple of weeks has been very productive. On behalf of West coast Mountain Guides, many climbs from Cogne to Creag Meagaidh have been completed. Point Five Gully – Orion Face Direct – Hadrian’s Wall Direct – Vanishing Gully – Italian R-Hand – Tower Ridge – The Pumpkin – Last Post – Diadem – The Wand and a host of easier climbs on Anoach Mor and Glen Coe. Thanks to Spike Sellers, Chris Thorne, Bruce Poll, Chris Ensoll, Mark Chadwick and Nick Carter, the instructors/guides. Today it is still snowing on the top of the high peaks and conditions are very good. This next week looks set for similar cold conditions, so head north and west for the best ice in the UK!

Another CIC Hut course is booked for 17/22nd March and has two spaces left. Valley based introductory – intermediate winter climbing courses are also available. Join the fun:)

Creag Meagaidh in good shape

Chris Thorne and Paul Cook climbed the Pumpkin and the Wand today, both in good condition.

Conditions on Nevis are also still very good, but the strength of the wind was turning some folk back today. Stob Coire nan Lochan classics are still okay.

Cogne

Rain for the first time in a couple of weeks in Fort William

Short walk in, thick ice, pairs climbing parallel on wide smears in the sunshine, abseil descents. The guys are having a break from Scotland this year and loving the climbing, cuisine and wine offered by our Italian hosts. The only thing missing is the sunset views out to sea. Bruce Poll and Chris Ensoll with Mike Anderson and team ( the doctors of wind)

Bruce Poll

And on Sunday 3rd March:

More sunshine in Cogne and a rapidly increasing  temperature  through the morning which caused some interesting and thought provoking snow slides from the sun exposed aspects. This made us run away and go for an entertaining  and energetic cross country ski in the afternoon on the excellent trails under the climbing cliffs. Mike went leashless today and still has two axes. Jerry (aka Kermit the frog) was spotted on the cross country trails, see attached photo.

Bruce Poll

Superb weather continues

From my Japanese correspondent: Heavy snowfall has made dangerous cornice upon roof at the foot of Mt IWAKI-SAN in AOMORI-Prefecture JAPAN. Local people are struggling and surviving in the heavy snowfall area.

Yasuyoshi Sakai

Closer to home:  Introductory mountaineering course at the weekend and with all the sun and blue skies we went looking for some quieter hills rather than the usual busy weekend haunts.

Central Gully on Bidean, the birthplace of Winter climbing in Glen Coe, courtesy of Norman Collie was untracked and the deep cleft running up the side of Church Door Buttress was very atmospheric. Its always good to finish a route on a summit too. Sunday took us to the East Ridge of Beinn a Chaorainn, again quiet and in a beautiful setting, a great route for learning the ropes of winter mountaineering.

Bruce Poll