Archive for April, 2008

Skye snow Stripped out mostly

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Hi Alan
Message is that the Cuillin have stripped & my predictions of long lasting snow were wrong. Not consolidated enough I guess. Axe maybe in a couple of wee spots but only if a freeze comes in.
still got the Chelsea blues,

Last Knockins ????

Monday, April 28th, 2008

New snow down to 900 metres last night and some ice still left on Ben Nevis on the higher routes.

Cascade area – Ben Nevis

Creag Coire na Ciste area – Ben Nevis

Glover’s Chimney. Well done Linda and Spike on possibly it’s last ascent this winter.

Indicator Wall looks good for some time yet so long as the temperatures fall.

Glover’s Chimney into Tower Gap.

Tower Ridge – Final slopes to the plateau.

Smith’s Route and Kellett’s and Shot in the Dark still in. Shot in the Dark appears to have some rock climbing on the last pitch below the cornice!

Gear Tags

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Does anyone know if GEAR TAGS are still in business? I paid up front online, weeks ago and nothing has arrived!

Also these are not very helpful either !!

More Cold Weather Coming

Friday, April 25th, 2008

More cold weather dropping down from the north folks. Keep them crampons sharp!

Rainy Day Today

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Hi Alan,
I’ve just seen Bruce’s post on your website. The ski tracks he saw coming off Stob Choire Claurigh were mine and Finlay’s. We started on Aonach Mor and finished just above Corriechoillie. Skis all the way. Almost as good cover as 1980 with Les Houlker.


Grey Corries a week or so ago.

Grey Corries in 1980

Rain for a change

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Hi Alan,
Thanks for the advice again. We had a brilliant weekend in the climbing capital of the UK. A brilliantly sunny weekend as the photo of Ben Nevis shows but with a cold easterly wind at times. Saturday we took the Aonach Mor gondola and walked up the Allt Daim to the foot of the east ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach and climbed this in at times soft sugary snow but with an alpine feel. From the top of the route we continued to Carn Mor Daerg with fantastic views of Ben Nevis and the Mamores and then descended its narrow east ridge arete again with an alpine feel to it. It was just brilliant.
Sunday we returned to the gondola and to the same glen but this time on the other side to reach Golden Oldy. Mostly rock on its lower parts but more snowy higher up. It has a good narrow ridge section at about two thirds height with we thought some exciting exposure for a short distance. A bit more cloudy Sunday afternoon and that cold wind again especially on the summit of Aonach Mor. The trip ended with a fifty minute descent back to the gondola racing the skiers and snowboarders in time for the last one down.
Looks like the snow/ice will be around a while yet on The Ben but that’s it for us this season I think.

thanks again,


Camera Found

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Hi Alan

Hope your enjoying the winter still!
I was out with a group on The Ben last Saturday 19th April and found a camera on the Pony Track on the way down. If you could post up this on your blog for the unfortunate person and ask him to send details and I’ll wizz it off in the post. Lots of cameras going missing recently!

My number is: 01567 829 348



Tarmachan Mountaineering Club

Milder now for a few days

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

The weather has turned milder, but Ben Nevis is still cloaked in plenty of ice. Two days ago I was out with Bruce Poll and Dave Wilson on Kellet’s(GardylooButtress) and Indicator Wall and both were in very very good condition, as was Smith’s Route, nearby. In the last few days Nevis has seen plenty of action, including a snowboard descent of both North and South Castle Gullies!

The weather forecast suggests another really cold snap, possibly this weekend or early next week, so a May Day ascent of some steep ice might just be on the cards. There is certainly enough ice left to last through until May and it all depends on the overnight temperatures and an early Alpine start folks!

Gardyloo Buttress

Summer plumage coming through.

Plenty of ice to climb from Observatory Gully

Last pitch to the summit cairn on Indicator Wall

Isle of Skye detail

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Thanks to Mike Lates for keeping us all informed of the ‘Misty Isle’

Hi Alan,
Loving the end of season and the climbing isn’t bad either. Rather utd play Chelsea in Moscow.

I include a diary update for your blog mainly to warn folk that the Cuillin is going to be hairy over the next few weeks but also with news of the winter traverse record that seemed to escape publicity.

See you soon I guess?,

22 April 2008.

Memorable Winter but big snow patches make slow going for the weeks ahead.

More snow than has been seen for the last decade gave a Cuillin winter to remember with new routes and a new record for the Winter Traverse. Spring promises to be very Alpine with extensive snow-fields well consolidated along the whole length of the Ridge.

Despite perfect weather last week most parties were limited to single peak days with deep sugary snow making progress slow and scary. Only those making alpine starts on the morning neve made much progress.

In the colder period at the start of March conditions were “stellar”. Highlight was a new winter record for the Traverse of just 9 hours 7 minutes by the on-form Steve Ashworth- congratulations! Indication of how good things were was a party who carried bivvy gear the day before but didn’t need it because they were travelling so fast- a very fine effort.

Persistence again paid off for Peter Macpherson & I with the Cuillin mixed game. On 11 March we squeezed “Eilidh’s Ceilidh” (for Pete’s daughter) in between the sun-struck walls of the TD gap (V 7). Very sustained climbing, mostly technical 6 with a fierce crux (7) turning a large roof. Thanks Pete! Finishing in a blizzard and a huge bumslide out confirmed it was definitely winter despite the earlier hot sun.

Ironically it is rain the Cuillin now needs in order to scour some of the steep slabby sections of their white mantle- I’ll be sad to say goodbye to it.

Stay safe & don’t expect to zoom along the Ridge without a care in the world. Axes are recommended for some weeks ahead.

Lost Stuff

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Hello Alan
I was climbing the ice pitch on Good Friday (2nd Pitch) yesterday (Sun20th)when my camera came away from the shoulder strap on my rucsac, i think it landed somewhere around the top of the 1st pitch. It was in a black Lowe Alpine case 2″x3″, it was a Sony T3 digital camera. If any anybody finds it i would be extremely grateful for its return. Cheers Mike 07818407178

Hi Mike,

I was on Indicator Wall area on 21st and did not see your camera. Might have a stroll up to have a look sometime.

Also, a team dropped some keys out of a jacket pocket on Point Five Gully. Please contact me if you find them.

I found a lovely little camera on the road between Nevis Range and A82 at the weekend. Must be the season for slippery fingers. Certainly Ben Nevis is still icy.

A dropped Quark hammer somewhere below Green Gully can be re-united with it’s owner by contacting Alan Kimber!