Archive for December, 2007

Cold – Dry – Blue Skies

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

A very pleasant day today, with a hard overnight frost. A few teams out climbing on Aonach Mor appeared to be enjoying themselves in the mixed conditions. Yesterday one rope who ventured east reported good climbing on Invernookie Corner.

Teams back from Ben Nevis reported that congestion charges appeared in order on Number Two Gully! Also some hard looking climbing taking place around Number Three Gully Buttress area by the avalanche report department. No windslab in that location by all accounts! Evidence of climbers on Glover’s Chimney going well. North Gully was in good shape.

Thanks to Andy Ravenhil of Alba Mountaineering for these two picture below

North Gully, Ben Nevis today.

Climbers on steep ground on the right wall of Two Step Corner area, searching for avalanches?

East Face of Aonach MorAonach Mor today.

Towards Ben NevisView towards Ben Nevis.

East Face of Aonach Mor
East Face of Aonach Mor today.

Sparse snow cover on the western hills.

Cold and Dry

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Last night we had snow down well below 600 metres and today the weather has calmed down a lot.

Ben Nevis Climbing

Friday, December 28th, 2007

Yesterday on Ben Nevis and Number Three Gully Buttress area. Thanks very much to Richard Bentley of Mountain Motion another Fort William based mountain instructor for these pictures.

Number Three Gully Buttress starter pitch.

Number Three Gully Buttress 2nd pitch.

Number Three Gully Buttress and Number Three Gully. Thin, but still providing winter sport.

Looking towards the Cascade and Number Two Gully area.

A Grey Day

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

We had some robust weather moving through last night and unusual thunder claps. Hopefully it laid down some snow. The next two or three days look snowy on the radar, but returning milder towards New Year’s Eve.

Damp – Windy – Miserable

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

Today it has rained all day. A hardy soul who is staying with us climbed Gardyloo Gully and found knee deep snow near the exit. Also evidence of a retreat from a previous party in the gully. It was sleeting near the top of the gully by all accounts,

Peace – Happiness – Sticky Ice

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Hola, Kia-0ra and Good Day folks, and a very Happy Christmas to you all. Last night we had a good frost and this morning many of the back roads around Fort William are like skating rinks. As you will see from the set of photos there is not a lot of snow just yet, but the turf on AonachMor and in the Grey Corries could be worth a visit. Let me know and send pictures if you have anything to report, as I am firmly set behind a big Turkey today!

As the day wears on and the Sherry starts to bite I hope to add a few good pics from 2007. It’s just started raining at 1730. Now there’s a surprise,

25th December 2007

Looking into the North side of Ben Nevis from the Gairlochy road. 25th December 2007.

And another one.


27th March 2007.

22nd January 2007. We have some way to go yet. The Turkey is almost ready and Queen’s Speech will be on soon.

Once upon a time:0))

Not much to report

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Some snow falling above 900 metres and good solid stuff in the big easy gullies on Ben Nevis. Also the high ‘Turfy’ routes might be worth a visit if the freezing level comes down. However, not a lot to go for just now apart from some Christmas ‘Cheer’. Be patient folks and it will all change…”sometime”.

Pretty cold and frosty this evening with a clear moonlit night so far.

Sunny Fort William

Back home it’s ‘Baltic’

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Back to the reality of expectations for another (?) good British winter. Thanks to ‘Minister’ Reilly for this little snippet from deepest Galloway. It’s all north of the border Colin! Farther north that is. Plenty of thin ice lines on Ben Nevis and the ‘Curtain’ is forming by all accounts and a loooong neck might win out on Point Five, but at a harder than normal grade. A good pair of binoculars would be useful from the Gairlochy road, west of the Caledonian Canal. Good stuff in all the big easy gullies, but still very little snow and REALLY COLD.


I must still be – officially – a keen mountaineer!
We drove, we trogged, we saw, and we did not put on our crampons.
Galloway’s Dow spout gives 800ft of Grade II/III water ice after five days of frost (apparently). I think the guide book writer was being a little optimistic. Still, we went and had a look!