A contrast from the weather yesterday mountaineering on Stob Ban today. With blue skies and fresh snow down to sea level. It was going to be a good day.
We got to the start of the ridge in the sun and the guys lead themselves up on the dry rock and powder. A handful of short pitches later we were crossing the barrow end of the ridge back in the sun. #winter #glennevis #stobban
Today i was on Western Rib, Aonach Mor. With a westerly wind and lots of fresh snow falling trying in get into the Ben Nevis gullies would have been a bad plan, but this 500m ridge is not a bad alternative.
With the snow level around 700m there was a good amount of cover on the ridge but the turf was not frozen at all on the route, so we trod carefully. There is a lot of fresh windslab around, even on the ridge which needs to consolidate more for things to improve. A full
We had snow last night so it was a day on the east face of Aonach Mor looking at snow anchors and good movement skills.
There was a good dusting of snow above 1000m making everything look more wintery. However i wouldn’t rush out onto the climbs as it is mostly superficial and will most likely be gone tomorrow with the warming temperatures, but a good start.
The guys did well leading themselves up Easy gully using good solid snow anchors. #aonachmor #nevisrange #winter
Today we were in Broad gully on Stob Corie nan Lochan. It is the biggest patch of snow in Glen Coe at the moment but still pitifully small.
We made the most of what we had to build on the skills seen and introduced yesterday; snow anchors, buried axe, bucket seat, clove hitch, body belaying and good footwork. We didn’t stick around long in the damp conditions and slushy snow. Summer mountaineering tomorrow is plan A. what we had #glencoe #winter
Today i was on Ledge Route, Ben Nevis with Murat. With a bit of a windy walk up to the CIC hut we geared up at the base of No. 5 gully which is still complete with snow. From there we entered the gully and over the slab, which is still a snow slope. Once on the ridge propper there is about 20% snow cover with the rest in summer condition, but having an axe in the hand was, handy, with big snow slopes still leading off from the ridge. We then summited Ben Nevis and descended
I was up Ben Nevis today via the Mountain Track with Lewis and Clark who wanted to see how quickly they could do the Ben as part of their 3 peaks challenge. It was warm in the glen and most of the way up. The snow is still at half way point with a tricky crossing of the Red Burn and we put crampons on at this point. There is a small compact trench through the snow which is good to walk on with crampons, off this the snow is deep and slushy, but still 6ft deep on the plateau
Amazing conditions on the climbing ridge on Stob Ban, Glen Nevis at the moment. Hard snow slopes and solid snow ridges with dry rock and good gear made for a very alpine feel. Ben and Danny progressed from yesterday with Ben leading the ridge and improving his gear and belay building and Danny ironed out his seconding skills. 7 pitches in total and good milage for the guys. #stobban #Glennevis #Winter #Fortwilliam
Good weather on Ben Nevis today for most of the way, but the fairly frequent strong gusts kept the temperatures down. But when the wind wasn’t blowing it was warm in the sun. My team of 5 made a good effort of the snow and ice which started at about 600m on the mountain and is rock hard all the way, with some steep slopes and long run outs on the zig zag section of the mountain, good footwork in crampons is key. Half way point Zig zag 2 Zig zag 3 area #bennevis #Winter #Moun
Day 2 with Ian and Mat and we headed for Curved Ridge in Glen Coe for West Coast Mountain Guides. The snow wasn’t frozen for most of the day which made for hard work up the avalanche debris at the base of Rannoch wall, on the ridge and on the exit slopes. But Curved ridge is in very good condition and the weather was anazing. We descending down the corie on firm snow avoiding the corniced edge. The approach, Rannoch wall in centre The summit Corniced edge Descending #Glencoe
Today i was on Western Rib on the west face of Aonach Mor with Ian and Mat, for West Coast Mountain Guides. With a big thaw and rain overnight the crags were pretty black compared to yesterday. The snow was very wet and heavy but the turf that was exposed was still frozen. #winter #Aonachmor #Nevisrange #Climbing
Today was day 1 of our winter skills and Ben Nevis course. Today was all about introducing the basic winter skills needed to move around safely and efficiently in winter. We went into Glen Coe and summited Stob Dubh in full on winter conditions. Along the way we looked at ice axe arrest, walking in crampons on varying terrain, identifing different types of snow and generally picking safe routes. Tomorrow we will tackle Ben Nevis. If you want to do similar then have a look a
Ben Nevis via the mountain path was a good challenge for the group after their winter skills day yesterday, putting what they learnt into practice. The path has a lot of snow on it from the bottom of the zig zags and navigation is very tricky at the top. There is a lot of ice from low down and the 6ft navigation cairns across the plateaux are almost buried. Its full on winter! The summit and blue sky! #bennevis #Mountainpath #Winter #Fortwilliam #Walking #Winterskills
On a wet and wild day with John for West Coast Mountain Guides, School house ridge in Glen Coe was a safe bet. Not much winter on the ridge but slush was falling from all angles at about 800m, although not much settling. We looked at bucket seats and body belaying before making our way up the steeper rocky steps. Before a few last bucket seats on the steeper snow to the shoulder peak. The descent was interesting with both of us being blown to the ground by the gusts at arou
The western rib on the west face of Aonach Mor was a good choice for Richard and Gregor to get their teeth stuck in to for West Coast Mountain Guides. Plenty of fresh snow on the walk in and on the route we had pretty much everything: mixed turf, deep wading, soft aretes, ice, rime ice and sun! We did about 8 pitches and then turned to mountaineering mode for the top section. Summit sun! #aonachmor #Nevisrange #Mountaineering #Winter #Climbing
The east ridge of the north top of Stob Ban was the route of choice for today for West Coast Mountain Guides, with strong SW winds it was quite sheltered. Getting to the ridge is still tricky with swolen rivers and a wet snow pack. The ridge itself was mostly black on the buttresses with snow on the aretes. The guys led themselves up the 1st 3 pitches and changed the rope technique to moving together. #Stobban #Glennevis #Mountaineering #Winter #Climbing #Fortwilliam
School House ridge was the safe route choice for today, working for West Coast Mountain Guides. With high temperatures and rain making the snow heavey there was lots of evidence of natural avalanches in most cories. Today we looked at mountaineering rope techniques and belay building with short pitches. #glencoe #Mountaineering #Climbing #Winter
The Zig Zags in Glen Coe was the route of choice today for Chris and Kyle for their 1st outdoor climbing experience for The Ice Factor. The route was low down (easy to get to) and below the forecast Considerable avalanche hazard (which was 700m and above), but neither proved the case. Tracks made it easier but still waist deep and there was evidence of 3 natural avalanches on the route where snow had come off rocky slabs and set off the slope below (i assume last night). Wit
Ledge Route on Ben Nevis today with Adrian for his Everest prep. We focused on good footwork on steep snow slopes in ascent and descent. There is a lot of snow on Ledge route providing a simple mountaineering route, today did require a few kneeling positions against the gusts. A short fight against the wind on the plateaux brought us to the top of Number 4 gully. Firm snow most of the way down but a few rocky sections starting to form. Ledge route Approach to Ledge Route Th
The Aonach Eagach in Glen Coe is in very good condition at the moment with very helpful consolidated snow. I was out with Adrian today who in 3 months time is off to Everest and is putting in some Scottish winter hours, getting his kit systems sorted and working on his footwork on trickier ground. Fitness doesn’t appear to be a problem as we took 5.5 hours car to car! #aonacheagach #Glencoe #Winter #Mountaineering #Everest
Curved Ridge in Glen Coe was a good choice today with the strong winds forecast higher up. It was very different from when i did it this time last year with Javi, when it was all rock and running water. The snow is very compacted where travelled and gave good climbing. The higher temperatures today will help the rest of the deep snow consolidate over time. Bottom crux Top tower The descent #glencoe #Winter #Curvedridge #Fortwilliam