Still wintry up north folks.
West Coast Mountain Guides Conditions Blog
Very wintry showers pulsing across the whole of Scotland just now. All ‘Munros’ will have a dusting of new snow no doubt. No let up until around Thursday by the sound of it. Today Bruce Poll and I have been working on some final website and newsletter details of the handover of my old company. It’s all going very well and if you have not received a newsletter and would like to be sent one, please contact either Bruce or myself on email@example.com or go to the contact link at www.westcoast-mountainguides.co.uk
This week Spike Sellers has been working for Bruce Poll, the new owner of West Coast Mountain Guides up on the Black Cuillin Ridge, where there is still plenty of snow. Anyone looking for adventures on the ridge should contact Bruce Poll on 01397 719120 or firstname.lastname@example.orgSpike’s kite is flying!
Best wishes in your retirement – which will probably be spent in the mountains somewhere warm.
I made three trips up to the Fort with west coast mountain guides – one with Dave Hormigo and two with Adam Hughes. Accompanied by my good friend Dave Windle I have fond memories that will last until my brain turns to mush; in particular, having you bash ice off my crampons whilst you filmed Tamsin on the second pitch of Orion Direct. It’s the sort of service I expect from my guides !
I’m assuming that Sir Alex read of your stepping down and was left to ponder his own future.
Thanks John. It’s not retirement, just a reduction in workload. As with Sir Alex, I’ll be doing bits and bobs in the background. I aim to continue in the ‘board-room’ (Nevis) for a few years yet. I know that Bruce Poll will continue the good service and might add a few new players to the squad. He will certainly be better on skis than I have ever been!
“I can hardly believe I’m in the UK, looking out at this mountain scene said Padraic, so alpine”. “Don’t worry Padraic, in a couple of years you might not be in the UK!” Anyway, with a sense of common enthusiasm, united in our task of being together with an identical objective, we set off from the CIC Hut towards Orion Face under an early morning clear sky and no wind. Two men from different countries acting as one!
Orion Face is not the hardest of the classic grade V’s on Nevis, far from it. However it is the most sustained. Point Five Gully, Zero Gully, Smith’s Route are all steeper in places, but do not have the commitment and length of Orion Face.Orion Face route topo with belay points marked
I was told that maybe you could help with the above.
Unfortunately I lost an ice axe on the descent from Ben Nevis in the blizzard and darkness on Saturday night. I would be a most grateful fool on its return.
Cheers and all the best – keep up the good work.
Many thanks for your blog this year – equal parts inspiration and information! Will it continue when you hand over the reins? Just a quick update on Ben Nevis conditions. On Saturday we climbed Hadrian’s Wall – other teams were on Slav Route, Smith-Holt Route, Orion Direct and Point5. Conditions couldn’t have been better for us but those on the lower sections of the Orion Face struggled to find good ice.Lots of new snow made NE Buttress and Tower Ridge very slow going. Image below is taken of Jason approaching the gully on the 3rd Pitch of Hadrian’s – lots of ice!
All the best
When Bruce Poll takes over fully we will both continue with a blog. Mine will be mostly Scottish and Bruce will insert Scottish and Alpine in equal measure I’m sure. I’m still very keen to enhance the blogosphere and share my interest in photography. I will have a small website, but more of that later.
I’ve attached a couple of pics from today (27th April). We did Thompson’s Route which was good, involved a bit trail breaking to get there. On the route there was some excellent older neve and also cruddy snow covering a lot of the rock which was a bit of a pain when it was mistaken for the good stuff. A few big cornices around the tops and bits of ice and snow falling of any aspects that see the sun and even some that don’t.
cheers for now,
Be careful at the tops of gullies this weekend folks. Number Four Gully went today on a new snow layer. Similar, harder layers were found in cornice locations elsewhere. Good weather tomorrow but more wintry storms arriving next week. Anyone fancy a climb?
Had a superb day on the Cairngorm plateau today (19th April). Ascended via the Fiacaill Buttress to Cairn Lochan and then walked over to Ben Macdui (for tremendous clear views) and returned via the spur E of Lurcher’s Crag. Pretty quiet on the mountains – a few ski tourers and other walkers, but a lovely tranquil day with no wind and plenty of bright sunshine.
There is an amazing amount of snow on the plateau and corrie headwalls for late April. A few pics attached which may be of interest.
Thanks Roy for these lovely photos.
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