Archive for October, 2011


Sunday, October 30th, 2011

This weekend I have attended a conference at Ratho climbing centre, trying to find ways of improving even more, the knowledge of winter mountaineers in relation to avalanche avoidance. The programme was put together by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service in collaboration with SAFOS

The event was open to both recreational mountaineers and professional winter course providers. Understanding the snowpack and how to avoid avalanches is a skill which we all need to consider seriously. A glance at the avalanche forecast is only a small part of the jigsaw of facts we need to put together. Even so, many winter mountaineers still approach areas that have been shown to warrant care, possibly oblivious of the danger they are exposed to.

This blog is no place to explain in detail how to avoid becoming an avalanche victim. A great deal of trusted information exists, especially on the SAIS site. Also try this quiz compiled by Glenmore Lodge As with all good commercial providers of winter courses, West Coast Mountain Guides will be running refresher courses for instructors prior to the winter season. This is no guarantee of 100% safety but hopefully means we deliver the latest, correct information on how to make good route choices in winter terrain.


Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

No rain here!

Wintry Hills

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

A distinct change to the weather today, no rain!! The hills are getting a good coating of new snow down to 600 metres. Any climbing on Nevis will be slow and difficult on the major ridges as the snow has not consolidated much. No doubt the ‘mixed’ brigade will be out and about scratching up something! As we have had a very wet summer and autumn, colder weather should bring good ice, so long as it stays cold. Unfortunately a return to milder conditions forecast for the coming week will put paid to this new snow very quickly. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Marker Cairn Number Four Gully

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Number Four Gully Marker Cairn

Further to the debate on a marker cairn at the head of Number Four Gully, one Fort William resident feels that this image above might be appropriate. It’s rather a long hike to the end of the West Highland Way though!