Archive for January, 2011

More Lost Kit

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Hi Alan,

I found a set of ice tools in the Ski Area car park at Cairngorm yesterday.

Happy to reunite them with there owner if they can give me description.



Very wet today out west:(

Before the Storm

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Last week’s course gives an idea of the activities we get up to on a Winter Mountaineering Course Yesterday on a trip over to Aviemore the weather was very good as seen by the pictures in the gallery below. Today teams reported good conditions in a variety of places, including Vanishing Gully on Ben Nevis. The week ahead looks very unstable and changeable with plenty of ‘rugged’ weather conditions floating through.

Dropped Axe

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Anyone entering Molar Canal on East Face of Aonach Mor and finding a Grivel Alp Wing axe, please get in touch. A fine dram and flapjack and a free lift up the Nevis track will be yours. Thanks.

CIC Hut Beds

Friday, January 28th, 2011

A booking cancelled at the CIC Hut      6-10 Feb 2011 5 night 8 spaces. Any interest please email myself on and also Robin Clothier  on

Today Curved Ridge was just icy rocks in places until about halfway, when crampons were required. The approach ground is possibly the hardest section with plenty of verglas on the exposed sections.

Hi Alan,

Tower Ridge awesome today, and we had it to ourselves. All the ridges are covered in firm neve, very pleasurable climbing conditions, and above the cloud inversion. Point Five was looking busy but quick. Epsilon chimney out of the basin looked in great condition. Observatory Buttress looked a little sporting on pitch 2. Smiths leaner still. In Coire na Ciste teams were on Darth Vadar and Storm Trooper. Comb Gully was busy too.

The mixed lines on the Ben are not as well rimed as the Cairngorms, but there is much more ice in the cracks on the Ben. Shelter Stone and Carn Etchachan looked irresistible yesterday with clean cracks (if only we had known that the night before). Hells Lum was great in the shady bits but falling off from the warm rocks in the sun.


Creag Meagaidh and Glen Coe

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Hi Alan,

Meagy ice lines have survived well and most bigger drainage lines look great. We were on Missed the Post, bit thinner nearer the plateau, but a less sporting escape right earlier could have been an option into Last Post . Last Post was also in very good nick. The inner corrie lines looked great too, think pumpkin was climbed today and the wand and diadem looked healthy. The old snow is freezing well but underneath is still a bit damp.

Bruce and Tania (Tania’s pictures)

Pictures on Boomerang Gully, Stob Coire nan Lochan are courtesy of David Hormigo and Phil Thompson. Thanks guys, all looks good.

Conditions are improving as we head into next week.

Good weekend

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

This weekend, working on a Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor familiarisation course for the Association of Mountaineering Instructors Today of Ben Nevis the climbing conditions looked good with ropes out on Hadrian’s Wall and Point Five Gully and all over Number Three Gully Buttress. The approach slopes are fairly ‘mushy’ but the climbing looks good.

Good Weather

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

Another very fine day today, this time on Aonach Mor.


Friday, January 21st, 2011

Hi Alan

A couple of pics of Pumpkin taken today, more to follow.

Route was surprisingly good given the thaw conditions. Most accommodating gear and climbing wise. Safe exit.

Gavin going well, got the best pitch ! I must be slipping.


Dropped Rebel Hammer

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Can any of you really honest climbers out there who climb Green Gully in the next twenty four hours and find a hammer, please return it to it’s owner, Chris Ensoll? Chris is staying with us this next week, so pop down to Calluna and get your free ‘dram’ and a slice of my wife’s flapjack.


By the way Green Gully is good.

Hi Alan

Just writing to let you know about conditions in the Cairngorms yesterday. First up it was a stunning day, deep blue skies and almost no wind. We went to Hells Lum and did Hells Lum gully and Brimstone groove, both in great condition although the sun was starting to affect the ice at the top of Brimstone groove later on.

Deepcut Chimney looked to be in good condition, but the Chancer has not touched down and parts of it were falling off once the sun got onto it. What wind there was came from the north so there were some small powder deposits near the top of the crag


Hi Alan

Another good day on the Ben.

Myself, Chris and Gillian headed up into Coire na Ciste and did Central-Right Hand which was in good condition with hero snow/Ice. Not taking screws though, so spaced protection.

We also did Wendigo also next to Central Right Hand. Excellent mixed route, with usable hero snow. The point was also done today by Guy, also Comb was climbed. Campbell will email some photo’s if you want for your blog.

Creag Meagaidh

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Dear Alan,

Many thanks for your website.

Just writing to let you know about Meagaidh conditions today. We did North Post which was  excellent, although not in the best of condition. Although the Post face is white, it is not packed down and there is still a lot of deep powder about. Fortunately the turf is well frozen so upward progress is reasonable, if a bit slow! Higher up, there is a lot of loose powder plastered over the rock. We found gear tricky to find in places. The ice is OK but fragile on the crux beside the chockstone. Its not as good as the forecasts would lead you to believe! All in all, good value for grade V. Take ample warthogs and pegs!

Teams also on Pumpkin, South Post and Staghorn Gully.

If anyone finds a crampon on The Window please get in touch. 20 pounds reward (plus p and p)!