Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Thursday, 23 February 2012

23-02-12, Beinn Bhan, Applecross - Winter Climbing

A' Chioch Traverse, Beinn Bhan
This week has been very warm, wet and stormy! Not very good for Winter Climbing! I have been working in the NW Highlands again. Luckily for my group of Intro Winter Climbers, Sunday, day 1 was ace, cold, crisp and snow down to sea level. We took the bull by the horns and went for a big route immediately, Chris and Steph had done some winter stuff with crampons and ice axes but Terrance hadn't so had to learn fast! We traversed A'Chioch on Beinn Bhan, a great grade II ridge route (the photos say it all).  The following days we have had serious rain fall, and rising temperatures, 5 and 6 degrees on the summits, which has decimated most snow everywhere. We climbed 'Way Up' on Liathach yesterday, the only thing you could climb! A very soggy experience with some ice fall for good measure. On the other days, we have practiced some navigation, rope work, rock climbing and dry tooling - It has been productive, if not very wintry. Weather forecast suggest a cold snap next couple of days then back to warm ming! But who knows what it will be like in a couple of weeks time.

Beinn Bhan

The Team on the ridge with the impending wall looming.

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