Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Friday, 12 March 2010

12-03-10, Glen Coe - Winter Climbing

Scotland has returned starting yesterday, a slight thaw has started and there was wet slushy snow falling at about 800m, windy and claggy. This was the last day of a MIC training course and we headed into Stob Coire nan Lochan. We looked at teaching leading and climbed NC Gully II (Tim leading - photo above), descended Broad Gully I, then went up Dorsal Arete II (busy), descending an easy gully on the right hand side of the corrie then ascended another head wall of snow further right. A busy day and a lot of ground was covered, the snow is starting to become a little slushy and there was wind slab pockets developing with the strong westerly winds. Today we heading up to west face of Aoanch Dubh in an attempt to climb The Screen IV (photo - right), before it melts away, but unfortunately we were a little late. Freezing levels have been at about 900m for the last few days and this has affected the thickness and stability of the ice. It looked big in places but as you topped out it would be thin and there was a waterfall clearly visible between the rock and the ice. So we decided the risk was not worth it and headed down. There were a few teams climbing Number 6 Gully, but even that won't last very long if the freezing level doesn't drop soon.

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