Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Monday, 21 March 2011

20-03-11, West Highlands - Winter Climbing

Dorsal Arete, II - Stob Coire nan Lochan.

I have spent the last couple of weeks climbing on the West in Glen Coe and on Ben Nevis. It has been a hectic and stormy couple of weeks preparing for and doing the MIC assessment. Before all the snow arrived Dave, Tom and myself went to Coire na Ciste on the Ben and climbed, Central Gully, Central Gully Right Hand and South Gully - excellent icy lines. Si, Tom and I went to Stob Ban and climbed Gendarme Ridge, IV,4 - a mixed line that follows and stunning narrow pillar for three pitches. Back to the Ben again to look at Moonlight Gully Buttress, Si and I climbed Diagonal, III. Weekend off and the snow arrived in force, a couple of inches down to sea level! For my MIC assessment we climbed mainly in Glencoe, routes such as Dinnertime Buttress, Zig Zags, Curved Ridge and Raeburn's in Lochan. It was a pass for me so very pleased, although couldn't celebrate for too long as I was out working for Gareth (Sea2Summit) the following two days after. I took a team of novice winter climbers onto Dorsal Arete on Friday 18th and then we ascended the East Ridge on the North Buttress on Stob Ban on Saturday 19th. The snow has now started to melt away, and the freezing level has risen well above the summits.

Tom getting stuck into some powder on Gendarme Ridge.

Si leading on Gendarme Ridge.

Tom after steep pitch on Central Gully Right Hand.

Dave belaying Tom on Central Gully.

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