Archive for December, 2008

Happy Hogmanay

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

And please keep the reports and photos coming in 2009. Thanks.


Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Catching the early climbers Gondola (0800) from Nevis Range put us ahead of the pack and a quick abseil into Left Twin to sample some spring like conditions in the sunshine. At this season the sun quickly hides its glow, low down behind the southern ridges and languishing in its warmth soon gave way to more frigid sensations.

Second pitch on Left Twin.

So long as no other ropes are below you, abseiling can be a good straightforward approach to the foot of Left Twin. Siamese Twin is the thick smear on the right-hand wall. It is a touch more difficult than Left Twin.

Hi Alan,

Don’t no if you were out today so I copied the report I put on my blog. Hope it’s useful.

Today I went up on the Ben with Greg. We climbed Smith’s Route. The first pitch had good ice all the way, but was not always thick enough to take a screw (1/2 in 16 cm). The icicle is not there, but the original finish is in fine climbing nick. It felt like a stiff, pushy V,5 today due to some thinish ice on the steep section and the same issue with screws on the first pitch. Overall, it was a joy to climb. We were being lazy and came down Tower gully and the climbed Tower Scoop, which is offering some good sport on very good ice. We saw a few teams climb point 5 and good Friday climb as well.

Tony went out for a bit of a solo mission today. here is a run down of what he did.

Point 5, Glover’s, Cascade, Comb and Green Gully, Central right hand. He came down No.2 Raeburn’s Easy Route and ledge route saying that everything he climbed was in good shape.

Cheer Adam Hughes

Adam Hughes

Thanks Adam.

I was on Aonach Mor, Left Twin. Mostly good, but some sugary snow in places which would benefit from a little mild weather and a freeze. Not much chance of the mild weather though in the next few days. Still, mustn’t complain, it was just a very good day.

Also check out Winter Highland

Perfect Winter

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Still and calm and freezing. Not the usual description of West Coast weather, but hey, let’s make the most of it whilst we can. First impression when casting a glance towards the hills is of not much snow. Don’t be fooled, as the climbing is pretty good. Some teams back from Aonach Mor East Face reported a good day out on Right Twin at a ‘pokey’ grade II.

Very Cold

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Very cold and dry just now. These pictures show what is around from Christmas Eve. Whilst conditions for harder routes are pretty ‘thin’ there are good climbs to be achieved on Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor. Aonach Mor has been reported as loose (rocks) in places.

For the easier grade I/II’s, many routes are complete and very solid. At least two teams out on Point Five Gully. One rope had a problem with a crampon and needed to descend for a pit stop in the kit store, here at Calluna. They are off up for another shot at the trophy!

Summit Cairn of Nevis from inside the emergency shelter.

Looking up towards Indicator Wall from beneath Tower Scoop. Looks ‘thin’ but climbable.

The ‘Cornice Flop’ brilliantly executed here on Aonach Mor.

Looking across the East Face of Aonach Mor.

Climbing on routes to the south of Easy Gully on Aonach Mor.

Descending Easy Gully on Aonach Mor.

View towards Ben Nevis from Aonach Mor.

Dry and Cold

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Fine weather, but not much chance of any fresh snow for a while. A good frost down to sea-level this morning in Fort William. This may bring any routes still intact back into good condition. Also any of the turfy mixed routes on Aonach Mor may benefit. The earliest Climber’s Gondola at Nevis Range appears to be at 0900. Phone for details.

Spring in the Cairngorms

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

A great day in the Cairngorms today. Very mild and mellow on Aladdin’s Couloir. Only the easy routes are left in good shape and if the cold weather returns as forecast the snowpack will be brick hard.

Coire an t-Sneachda.

Some snow left on the plateau, but not good for ski-touring just now.

Aladdin’s Pinnacle in summer ‘nick’.

Loch Morlich looking quiet and serene.

Best wishes and peace and happiness to you all, not just now, but always.

Still Mild

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Still mild. Yesterday our team climbed Ledge Route and descended Number Four Gully. There was plenty of ice and snow above about 1000 metres, but it needs to cool down a touch for anything resembling good conditions to return. Fortunately that does appear to be possible according the the forecast. Not much new snow falling in the near future but Christmas Day looks Bonnie on the weather maps. Dry and cold, so Santa will be pleased:-)

Moist and Mild

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

If the weather forecast holds true, we are in for some thaw conditions at all levels. Good to see Arsenal and Liverpool kicking lumps out of each other and only gaining a point each, whilst Manchester United lifted the World Club Cup

Mellow on Nevis

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Apart from a heavy shower at around 0900 we had a very mellow, windless day climbing an easy traverse of the Douglas Boulder, via the West Gully and descending the East Gully. The weather was in fact spring-like.

I found a valuable item outside of the CIC Hut this afternoon, so anyone who has mislaid anything today, please get in touch.

Lots to go for in Coire na Ciste

The Curtain is forming, but looks mighty thin.

Point Five Gully looks in good shape, but may be melting, so not sure of the quality of the ice.

Douglas Gap Gully (West). A good short grade I. Also in this area, on the right of the gully are plenty of sporting options for a shorter day, up to around grade III/IV. Just follow something that looks interesting and don’t bother with the guide book. Descent is pretty straightforward into the foot of Observatory Gully.

Good weather on the way.

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Monday and Tuesday look set fine with High pressure in control. In fact some of the forecasts are suggesting cold weather through the festive period, although a lot will depend on the position of the High pressure system.