Well the weather continued to be un helpful but with a few extra coffees in the morning and a few late starts we managed to get some climbing done, Garadh gully into glovers chimney (this was an expedition!), moonlight gully, an attempt on Observatory Buttress but the weather had other ideas one abseil and then tower scoop and upper tower cascade rescued the day. The Last day was an early start and it was a trip up to no.3 Gully buttress, and came away with two-step start in to no.3 Gully Buttress and Thompsons Route a good way to finish a full scottish week at the CIC Hut.
West Coast Mountain Guides Conditions Blog
After a few days of perfect neve and the first winter ascents of many of the classic Ben Nevis Vs and others such as all the Minus Gullies, see last weeks posts, this week looked like it could have reaped a rich bag of routes from the CIC hut. The winter warm air arrived with the dreaded moisture element and we are back to ridges, at least for a few days, and hopefully a few more cornices are dropping to the valley floor over the gullies. Every day a major ridge bagged so far this week. NE Buttress, Observatory Ridge, Tower Ridge, Ledge Route and still a couple of days to go. Not such a bad bag of routes after all. It always pays to be in the mountains to get on the mountains!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After a very wet day yesterday the weather came good for us today.
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.
We had a great week in the CIC hut despite the weather. Great company good routes and off course Whisky.
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”
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
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.
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.