Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Thursday, 19 February 2015

19-02-15, Ben Nevis - Winter Climbing and Mountaineering

 I have been working with some students from Bolton Grammar School the past 4 days. Monday and Tuesday we have been enjoying the ice on Ben Nevis, Harrisons Climb, Waterfal Gully, Curtain Rail and some ice lines in the Gulch. Yesterday was very warm and rainy so the Ice Factor fitted the bill. Today we went up Ledge Route to the summit, in some full on winter conditions. Many of the ice lines above 900m have stayed in tack, Compression Cracks, Boomers, Harrisons, Shroud!, Curtain are hanging in there, CIC hut falls, Gulch ice, Waterfall Gully, Gemini, Shield have not. A lot of wind blown snow at the top of number 4 gully with a wispy cornice.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

15-02-15, Ben Nevis - Winter Climbing

Nordwand today on Ben Nevis. A good long ice climb with some snowy rambling in between the ice pitches.

Another stunner in Snowdonia on Tuesday.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

08-02-15, Glyder Fach, Snowdonia - Winter Climbing

 I am back in Wales for a week and what a week! The conditions not quite as ace as in Scotland but there is some wintry climbing about. The high pressure weather makes the mountains feel magical. Dave and I went to Glyder Fach today and climbed some mixed turfy lines on the left hand side of the main cliff. Rock at that altitude not rimed, snow and turf was frozen at the start of the day. You probably have to head higher tomorrow.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

06-02-15, Creag Meagaidh - Scottish Ski Touring

 A fantastic day ski touring on Creag Meagaidh. Up and down Moy Burn, fine views of all over the west, north, east and central highlands. The snow softened nicely in the sun to give a fun ski down also!

Thursday, 5 February 2015

04-02-15, Beinn a' Bheithir, West Highlands - Winter Mountaineering

 Another 2 Munros in the bag for Simon today. Ballachulish horseshoe gave a great day with fine views.

Monday, 2 February 2015

02-02-15, Stob Ban, Mamores - Winter Mountaineering

 A lovely day in Lochaber today, cold and calm winds. We had a slightly late start, picking Simon up  off the train, we headed to Glen Nevis and went up and down the North ridge on Stob Ban. After the initial steep slog through shin deep soft snow we had some fine firm snow on the slopes and an excellent snow arĂȘte. There was loads of wind slab on the east side of the ridge.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

01-02-15, Coire an t-Sneachda, Cairngorms - Winter Mountaineering

 I have been working in the Cairngorms this weekend on a mountaineering course. Lots of snow arrived Friday evening, making movement through the snow an issue! Today was less windy and with some visibility. We walked into Coire an t-Sneachda and up the goat track. Most of the coire is scoured, with hard icy snow on approaches apart from the Fiaciall Buttress which has an extensive band of wind slab across the approach slopes.