Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

17-02-16, Aonach Eagach, Glen Coe - Winter Mountaineering

After a mini thaw, wet, stormy weather of yesterday, lush weather has resumed today in Glen Coe. Aonach Eagach was in a fine winter condition, some new snow, some old snow and ice surviving, gentle breeze, improving visibility. Leo and I had a great time on the traverse.

Monday, 15 February 2016

15-02-16, Buachaille, Glen Coe - Winter Mountaineering

Another excellent day in the west highlands today; cold, crisp, great visibility and sunshine. The boys from Bolton have done well. We split into two teams, I walked up the ridge to the right of Coire na Tulaich and ascended Stob Dearg and Stob na Doire, Adam took two of the more experienced lads up Curved Ridge, we met up for the walk down.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

14-02-16, Glen Coe - Winter Mountaineering

Sunshine on Gear Aonach ridge.
The good current run of cold days has continued in the Scottish Highlands. I have spent the past couple of days working on winter skills with different groups, in Cairngorms and Glen Coe. The easterly winds have provided some interesting wind slab on different aspects from the usual. Today I ascended some icy Zig Zags on Gearr Aoanach with lads from Bolton Grammar School. The boys did well, seeing as most of them have never worn a harness. We had a good day yesterday working on essential movement skills with boot, axe and crampons around Stob Coire nam Beith.

Icy Zig Zags.
Screamach to Stob Coire nan Lochan.
Aonach Eagach looking in fine wintry condition.
View towards Rannoch Mor.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

10-02-16, Torridon, Glen Carron - Winter Mountaineering

I have just spent 3 days in North West Highlands, Munro bagging with Simon. It is wintry over there, with snow above 600m, plenty of rime on the rocks, not so much ice however. The freezing level seemed to rise to or above the summits most days making the snow turn heavy by midday. We had a great time on Beinn Alligin, Liathach and Beinn Lieth Mhor-Sgorr Ruadh, despite the visibility not always showing Torridon in its fine glory!

Northern Pinnacles, Liathach.
Descending on Horns of Alligin.
Horns of Alligin.
About as close to sunshine as we got from Monday!
Coire Lair.
Sgorr Ruadh and some deer girls.
Liathach the start of the ridge.
Liathach on the way up Spidean Coire Leith.
On the Liathach Pinnacles.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

06-02-16, Ben Nevis - Winter Climbing

Some good ice still about on Ben Nevis, plenty of new windblown snow as well as avalanches in number 3 gully and observatory gully. We climbed Number 3 gully buttress which was nice with good snow/ice all over it. Poor visibility for most of the day, but frozen conditions looked good!

Final pitch of Number 3 Gully Buttress.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

04-02-16, Stob Coire nan Lochan, Glen Coe - Winter Climbing

A warm day in Glen Coe, We climbed Raeburn's Route, slightly slushy snow, but climbable as always. Plenty of teams on Dorsal Arete. Freezing level was well above the summits.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

03-02-16, Buachaille, Glen Coe - Winter Climbing

High up on Curved Ridge, Buachaille, Glen Coe.

Lovely weather today in West Highlands. light winds, cold great views of snowy mountains. Plenty of soft snow about, made Curved Ridge slightly arduous, but it was still good. Some wind slab about on NE aspects, tops mixed, verglassed rocks, dry rocks, hard neve, hard wind slab. The descent down Coire na Tulloch was hard neve, but low down the soft snow hid the boulders and holes in the gully!

Rannoch Wall.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

02-02-16, Ben Nevis

Views of Ben Nevis North Face from today. A late walk up to CIC hut, most folk who had been climbing said it was fairly wild most of the day!