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.
No snow ploughs staying on the A82. One landed up in the ditch apparently! BEAR Scotland sent out another one to drag it back on the road. We followed a well beaten trench on the Zig-Zags on the East Face of Gearr Aonach, kindly made by pupils from Tiree High School and Jamie Bankhead and Andy Spinks. Given the conditions of deep new snow and unsettled weather, it proved to be a good sheltered Scottish location for David, who is training for the alps in moving together skills and a trip with Rob Jarvis in July. Close to the road (1hr). Little objective danger from avalanche and a good mix of simple climbing and a short abseil in descent. Grade II really. We came back down the route of ascent.
Considerable amounts of snow have fallen, driven in by gales from a westerly quarter, in the last few days since the thaw. The avalanche risk has risen accordingly, so stay clear of anything you are not sure about or has appeared on the SAIS reports for the area you intend visiting. Yesterday was a pretty good day and the Shroud had some action according to Adam Hughes. Well done guys. Above that route is a large basin of snow, so maybe not a great route to go on just now. Another team actually battled up Observatory Gully yesterday and reported Smith’s Route in very good condition. Once again don’t bother, unless you have some form of suicidal tendency in the current conditions! We have a few spare beds at Calluna this week, where we are accommodating the University of Central Lancashire on a winter skills week, run by Adele Pennington