West Coast Mountain Guides Conditions Blog

Warm and wet but cold again tomorrow. Fingers crossed

March 14th, 2014

A wee bit wetter than forecasted this morning and a colder forecast we decided to move are climbing day till tomorrow. We are all hoping that the ice routes are holding in up on the ben time will tell.

In the mean time this is worth a read and considering when you are making plans to climb this week.

This not today! but lets hope it returns, fingers crossed.

This not today! but lets hope it returns, fingers crossed.

http://saismeagaidh.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/conundrum.html

Headed East

March 13th, 2014

With the warm temperatures and rain forecasted we headed to the Cairngorms for some mixed climbing. It was warm there too but their were no cornices above the Fiacaill Buttress. Gaz and Michael climbed Invernookie, it was in good condition with plenty of ice to climb the snow was getting soft towards the end of the day. We climbed The Seam it was wet but had some good ice in the back of the cracks. Fiacaill couloir had a steady stream of people going up it. Not much else happening in the rest of the corrie because of the risk of cornices.

good ice on the Seam.

good ice on the Seam.

spot the climbers

spot the climbers

Coire an Lochain! looks menacing  at the moment.

Coire an Lochain! looks menacing at the moment.

More sun shine.

March 12th, 2014

Its all ways getting up early, quiet routes and good views. today me and Adrian climbed Minus 3 and the continued up NE Buttress. on the summit for lunch in the sun we had another team climb minus 3 later in the morning too, Plenty of folk enjoying Tower ridge, Observatory Ridge, routes on the Orion  and minus face it was another especial day.

Early morning light on the NE Buttress

Early morning light on the NE Buttress

just coming thought the crux of minus 3.

just coming thought the crux of minus 3.

Hight up on NE Buttress

High up on NE Buttress

Heading to the summit for a well earn't butty

Heading to the summit for a well earn’t butty

 

Busy on the Ben

March 11th, 2014

Paul was out on tower ridge with Chris and Andrew. they had an amazing day with good views and sun shine! a rear treat this winter.

The summit of Ben Nevis

The summit of Ben Nevis

just coming out of tower gap.

just coming out of tower gap.

 

Their were lots of teams out on the orion face and the minus face. all enjoying very good climbing conditions. I was out with Donald King and we climbed Left Hand route. a brilliant route. Still a lot of big cornice about so careful route choice is still needed. there were 3 reported cornice incident today.

1st pitch of left hand route

1st pitch of left hand route

other teams enjoying the good conditions

other teams enjoying the good conditions

spot the climbers.

spot the climbers.

the guys on tower ridge.

the guys on tower ridge.

 

High Pressure.

March 10th, 2014

After a very wet day yesterday the weather came good for us today.

The best view

The best view

 

 

We had two teams out on Ben Nevis. Paul, Chris and Andrew was out on Ledge Route, they enjoyed some brilliant views for the north face today.

The other team was myself, Adrian and john (All from the Flat lands!) we climbed the SW ridge of the douglas boulder and then headed over to Green hollow route. Two very nice routes again in stunning scenery.

Their were teams climbing all over the mountain today. It was good to see. we will wait for reports to find out what the ice and condition are like high up on the mountain.

SW Ridge in good condition.

SW Ridge in good condition.

Descending from green hollow route.

Descending from green hollow route.

CIC hut week

March 7th, 2014

We had a great week in the CIC hut despite the weather. Great company good routes and off course Whisky.

The team Eoin and Tim

The team Eoin and Tim

 

 

On Wednesday we climbed Gutless on the Douglas Boulder before the rain set in, we then retreated to the hut for tea and medals. A good route but best done with out a rucksack! On Thursday we had a late start thinking it was not going to be a day for climbing, but the weather cleared and the temps dropped a little bit and we climbed  Observatory Buttress. It was berried and had all types of ice on the route! We then enjoyed are last walk back to the hut via the CMD Arete and a good bum slide, oh and some more whisky. Thanks again to Eoin and Tim for the a great week. “Lets just go for a walk”

Tim battles with spin drift

Tim battles with spin drift

Ben Nevis Summit.

Ben Nevis Summit.

CIC route Book

CIC route Book

2nd pitch Gutless

2nd pitch Gutless

Shove tuesday.

Shrove tuesday.

Point 5 Cornice !

Point 5 Cornice !

Observatory Buttress

Observatory Buttress

Hut life.

Hut life.

Summi

Summit

NE Buttress

NE Buttress

 

CIC hut update

March 4th, 2014

Beautiful day yesteday  led the teams from the near buried CIC hut this winter onto the summit of the Ben via Newbiggings route and then onto the NE Buttress proper for an excellent weather window opportunity for the summit. We also had a team on Tower Ridge yesterday, another excellent outing amidst the wild days of this winter, persistence wins in the Scottish winter game.

The CIC hut team stayed a little lower today and grabbed a rare in condition winter, but technical ascent of Raeburns Arete under the First Platform on North East Buttress, superb was the verdict.

The Curtain was also climbed on Sunday by the team this week after the walk in with the weeks food, keen to get going!

The next 24 hours will bring an above the summit 0 degree isotherm, maybe the Point 5 monster cornice will fall to the bottom of Observatory Gully,  along with others, here’s hoping :)

 

 

 

South West Ridge of the Douglas Boulder

March 2nd, 2014

Gaz was out yesterday with Neil and Stuart. It was the first day of the intro winter climbing weekend. They climbed the SW Ridge of the Douglas Boulder along with a few other teams.  Still a lot of snow being moved about so care was needed to get the route.

A good view at last.

A good view at last.

 

Good stance management on the SW Ridge.

Good stance management on the SW Ridge.

 

 

 

The snowy summit.

The snowy summit.

 

We have a CIC hut week starting today, so keep an eye out for condition up dates and routes they get done. pictures will be posted at the end of the week.

 

Castle Ridge

February 28th, 2014

The weather was not as promised, so we headed up the closest route. Castle ridge was in good condition with the curx being entertaining and a fine snow arete at the top. We Could not see much all day. Ice is reforming and the snow is firming up slowly too. There were lots of other teams in and about the Ben. We met some on the way out reporting cruddy ice and soft snow. Careful route choice is needed at the moment.

Fresh snow fall on the walk in.

Fresh snow fall on the walk in.

Castle Ridge. Just make out the CIC Hut

Castle Ridge. Just make out the CIC Hut

Curved Ridge

February 26th, 2014

It was a wet day on the hill today but we did see the sun if only for a wee while. The freezing level was around the summits. Lots of wet snow about. The Ridge was  in great condition, still loads of snow up there and a good track now too. Thanks Tim.

 

Emma on Curved Ridge Glen Coe

Emma on Curved Ridge Glen Coe

Still some big cornices about!

Still some big cornices about!

Blue Sky

Blue Sky