Thursday, 28 February 2008

SNOW REPORT FROM AFAR


It's been a beautiful afternoon here on Loch Tay. I went for a bike ride round the loch this afternoon with great views over to the Lawers and Tarmachan hills from the South side of the loch. The Eastern aspects of the hills all look great right now down to around 700m. Cat Gully on An Stuc looks well filled with snow and is an excellent grade 1 sporting route to the Munro when the snow's had time to consolidate. The temperature's been up & down daily here with snow showers, rain and strong winds in no particular order. Looks like another gale force wind and rain day tomorrow with a long term weather prediction of heavy snow to lower levels by early next week, bring it on!
The picture shows Cat Gully, An Stuc on the far left of the pic, in perfect conditions a wee while back.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

THE WILD WEST




It was another strong winds day on the mountains, with quite a few snow/graupal showers thrown in. There were some sunny moments too today as Ian, Peter and I traversed the ridge between Beinn Eunaich & Beinn a' Chochuill near Dalmally. We had some great views over to The Cruachan ridge over to the West through out the day. It was quite a cold NW and the snow was blowing around nicely on the mountains. Looks like an unsettled week which is great as we need some snow down on the hills to give us more of those Alpine conditions.

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Sunday, 24 February 2008

A NOT SO WILD DAY





It was a cold and windy day today but the Westerly winds gradually eased through out the afternoon. We had light snow showers but some great spells of sunshine inbetween and good views. Alison and I were doing a circuit of Tarmachan ridge from the North end of Lochain nan Lairige and linking as much of the snow fields and slopes together as possible. Excellent frozen snow again and still some depth in sheltered hollows and gullies.

It looks like another un settled week ahead but good news as it'll be cooler with snow on the tops.

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Friday, 22 February 2008

A GOOD GOGGLE DAY





It was a wild wintery day today, with gale force winds of up to 60mph. I was in the gullies of Cam Creag, on Meall Garbh which is on the Tarmachans'. It was definately a day for the goggles and several pairs of gloves. The winds had changed to a colder Westerly bringing snow down to 600m, there were a few bright spells but mostly snowing all day. All the crags are now looking wintery. The gullies are still deep with snow, a little softer after yeasterdays temperature rise and rain.

A great day to be out and total contrast to a week ago when we had 'Alpine' conditions, it's definately a typical Scottish feel at the moment

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

BACK TO PROPER SCOTTISH WINTER WEATHER




It was nice to feel real Scottish conditions today. I was up in one of Tarmachans' Eastern gullies, at about grade 1 it's my favourite one which finishes just below the summit of Tarmachan. The whole of the Eastern corrie looks superb with hard snow everywhere. The gully was untouched and I saw no one till the summit area. It was snowing lightly down to 500m most of the day, drier and cloud lifting late afternoon. Great neve all the way up.

I can't beleive there are folk walking around the hills right now with no winter ice axe & Crampons, 2 guys even asked me how long it would take them back to their car, where their car was they never mentioned!

Looks like wet & warm day tomorow but something colder on it's way for the weekend.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

CENTRAL GULLY, BEN LUI










A superb day again in The Highlands. Kate, Norman and I were climbing the classic route on Ben Lui, Central Gully. Snow was perfect all the way from the corrie. It was clear skies all day and wonderful clarity. It was nice to rest the knees after last weeks winter skills groups ice axe arrests on hard neve! The high pressure is drifting away tonight and some wet weather due. Hopefully cold enough at the weekend for fresh snow fall on the mountains.

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Sunday, 17 February 2008

BUSY GLENCOE





Simon and I were in Glencoe today. We were in Coire an Lochain and again on excellent snow above 700m. There were a lot of teams out in the gullies, including Broad Gully & Boomerang Gully. We went over to the western side of the coire improveing crampon technique and moving on steep ground as we headed up th Stob Coire an Lochain. The Alpine weather of the last week ended today as there was a chill wind and cloud above 900m. Still wonderful snow conditions, a wee bit softer as a slight temperatire rise.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

ANOTHER GLORIOUS SUNNY DAY





Simon was on day 1 of a winter skills course today on Aonach Mor. It was yet another beautiful sunny day, with cloud out to the west of loch Linnhe as we basked in the sun. Wonderful cloud inversion around The Ben. It was hot work in the sun as we were cutting steps, axe arresting and cramponing on perfect hard frozen snow.

Friday, 15 February 2008

THE SOUND OF COWBELLS IN THE MEADOWS




Another superb Alpine like weather today as Jane, Nathan & Tony enjoyed their final winter skills day on Ben Nevis. What a wonderful viewpoint and excellent hard snow above 1000m on the plateaux. We crampond up to the summit in perfect snow and bright sunshine, while some folk struggled up in summer approach shoes. Lots of climbing activity on the North face.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

CLEAR SKIES, SUNSHINE ,AGAIN!!!




It was yet another clear skies and sunshine day again. After a cold start it was Warm in the sun but agin the snow is hard, frozen and wonderful cramponing. We were concentrating on navigation today up on Aonach Mor. Superb views over to The Ben and out to the west. There was a temperature inversion to the south. On the way down we were constructing snow shelters. Lots of climbers out on the Eastern crags & gullies. Another boring sunny day is forecast tomprow, what a bummer!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

OH NO, ANOTHER SUNNY DAY







It was wall to wall sunshine today and feeling Spring like once the sun was up. The snow though was superb, neve on Buachaille Etive Beag in Glencoe. We went up a great line on the Stob Coire Raineach summit where the superb snowfield led us directly to the top. We were on steep snow from about 700m with a great backdrop of Bidean. Looks like the cleasr warm weather is going to continue for the rest of the week. Snow on shaded aspects will be well frozen and continue to give great cramponing conditions.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

MORE SUNSHINE & SNOW






It was another beautiful wall to wall sunshine & blue skies day today. We were below the impresive NE face of Ben Nevis with Jane, Nathan & Tony on their winter skills course. We covered avalanche assessment and improving axe/crampon techniques. There were lots of groups out climbing on the gullies of the Ben today. Excellent snow again, well frozen and consolidated once more. Gullies are looking superb and weather set good again for tomorrow

Monday, 11 February 2008

SUNNY LOCHABER



It was a beautifuly sunny, calm day in The West Highlands. Jane, Tony & Nathan were on their first day of a 5 day winter course today. We were covering basic moveing on snow and axe arrests. There was excellent hard snow over on 'The Nid' on Aonach Mor. There is still some excellent big stretches of snow on the hills and it was perfect cramponing terrain.

This week I am over in Lochaber area working for http://www.serenventures.com/

Saturday, 9 February 2008

STILL SNOW

I was in the North corrie of Beinn Ghlas today checking out the snow. There is still up to a metre in depth of moist snow above 900m and with some lowering in temperature it should become well frozen, though daytime temps are still hovering around plus 9 degrees through to ealy next week. At least it's forecast to stay dryish so shouldnt wash it all away. The ridges from Beinn Ghlas to Ben Lawers are snow free. It felt cold & Damp today in the low cloud & strong SW.
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Friday, 8 February 2008

WARM & WINDY



Last couple of days it's been very mild here in the Highlands. Very strong SW have melted the snow lower down but the amount of snow higher up will take a lot to shift. The Southern aspects of the hills look bare from Killin but there's plenty still in the higher gullies. Hopefully we'll soon be back to cold conditions. Meanwhile the Crocus's & Snowdrops think it's Spring here in the garden.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

A GRAND DAY




One of those rare sunny days today. A cracker of a day- Helena, Austin, Alex & I were on Tarmachan's NE ridge from the dam at Lochan na Lairige. We covered lots of steep ground on the way to Tarmachan's summit including a delightful gully . There was a mixture of lots of windslab, fresh snow and windblown sections. A lot of snow in places and looking beautiful in the sunny conditions. The winds died down and it was a glorios day. It looks like a very mild spell is on it's way, lets hope not for too long. There will still be lots of snow higher up through out the rest of winter.

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