Monday, 31 March 2008

ANOTHER ALPINE DAY






Fantastic conditions on the mountains today. Ian, Peter & I enjoyed a fabulous 'Alpine' like day again, a common phenomina this winter. We were on Stob Ghabhar which has a wonderful position looking out to Rannoch Moor. The Aonach Eagach ridge was well banked with fresh snow, indeed I have never seen so much snow on this, one of my favourite wee ridges. The classic grade 2 climb in the Couloir was looking great but a big cornice on the top. I also observed recent avalanche debris in the coire to the SE of the summit. The sun shone most of the day with beautiful light and we saw no one all day.

Looks like more wintery showers on the way and becoming cool again by the weekend. Winter is definately still here for a while yet.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

A BEAUTIFUL DAY




Ben Nevis looking superb today. Kim and I had a low level walk near Glenfinan. The hills on the Moidart peninsula are looking wonderful and wintery. A great place for solitude and winter walking.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

BUSY CAIRNGORM



Clear skies for most of the day over in The Cairngorms. Kim and I had a walk into Coire Sneachda. A lot of snow as been deposited to 600m and drifting in the light winds. The carpark at Coire Cas was full today, lots of folk out enjoying the great skiing.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

AONACH EAGACH




This great spell of weather and excellent snow conditions continues. I was on the Eastern summit of Aonach Eagach today, Sgorr nam Fionnaidh. The cloud gradually broke and some nice views along the ridge in the afternoon. All the corries are looking superb at the moment.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

ARTIC BLAST




I was out on Binnein Mor's North ridge today in The Mamores. Cracking route up to this finest of the Mamores tops, albeit a long walk in. The previous days cold and snowy weather had put down a lot more snow making this one of the best winters for years. I had neve on the North ridge with fresh slabby snow on the contining ridge to Na Grugachan. Mixed bag of weather, cloud, sun, cold Northerly with graupal showers, excellent.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

CAM CREAG GULLIES, MEALL GARBH





The sun shine brightly again today for another alpine like time on the hills. I was out on the wonderful wee gullies on Meall Garbh's Cam Creag area. I was up & down two grade 1 gullies before heading on to the tops. Snow was variable, from 'Spring' snow to neve.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

STOB A' CHOIN





A grand wee hill today near Balquidder, Stob a' Choin. Despie a modest height of below 900m it is very much a big hill. It's steep from any start point and today the snow was down to 600m so we took a great line up a shallow gully leading directly to the summit. John, Ian, Peter & I had great views over to Stob Binein and to Ben Lomond. Some nice stretches of neve was enjoyed as we followed the rough ridge over to the lower top. Spotted a pair of ptarmigan close up inbetween some great bum sliding down the fun slopes.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

CAT GULLY, BIG SOFT PUSSY CAT




Fabulous day today as we headed for Cat Gully on An Stuc. Beautiful 'Alpine' weather on the walk in with a tremendous amount of snow down to 600m and the gully itself looking superb. Unfortunately the sun this time of year is directly on the East faceing gully and was very soft despite the cold overnight temps. Jackie, Doug & I still had a fine day out though as we headed for the usual ridge onto An Stuc. Beautiful late afternoon so we headed over Lawers and Beinn Ghlas, finishing in darkness at the visitor centre.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

MORE SNOW HOLE POTENTIAL


Another fine day on the hills. I was on Ben Lawers S/SW ridge today from Tombreck. The 'fissure' on this fine route up the hill was welll banked & filled in with snow, another great snow hole site!

Friday, 14 March 2008

QUIET DAY ON TARMACHANS



iT WAS A VERY QUIET DAY ON tARMACHAN RIDGE AS SAW NO ONE ALL DAY DESPITE THE EXCELLENT CONDITIONS. sTILL A HUGE AMOUNT of snow on Eastern aspects, great spots for snow hole sites.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

A GREAT DAY FOR NAVIGATION

John and I mistimed the early sunshine today and left a tad late, so we had snow and low cloud from noon onwards. We were on Beinn nan Imirean, near Crianlarich. There was cloud down to 600m and snowing constantly all afternoon. Lots of snow even on this quite lowely hill at 847m. Great mountain for navigation. It's also a great hill for views of Ben More & Sob Binnein, not today!
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Sunday, 9 March 2008

LOOKING LIKE GREAT END OF WINTER CONDITIONS

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On Sunday Roksana, Geoff, Mike & Andy were on their second day of a winter skills course. We had an excellent mix of winter conditions, fresh snow, windslab, neve, frozen turf and wind-scoured ridges as we made our way on to Beinn Ghlas via the Northern Corrie. We covered navigation, avalanche avoidance & assessment and moveing on steep ground. Snowcover from 6oom and with a few snow showers through the day, with poor visability in the showers, winds had eased to 40mph on the tops, we even managed a few sunny intervals.

Unbeleivable amount of folk on the high tops with no rucksacs, no ice axes/crampons and we even spotted someone with a pair of aspproach shoes sliding about on the summit of Beinn Ghlas! Will folk never learn?

Shaping up to be a great March and end of season winter conditions, right through to April I guess.

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Saturday, 8 March 2008

GALES & GOGGLES




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It was another very unsetlled very blustery, wintery day on the mountains. Roksana, Geoff, Andy & Mike were on their first day of a two day winter skills course. We covered axe arrests, avalanche assessment, cramponing and moving on steep ground today. We were in the Eastern corrie on Meall nan Tarmachan and moved up to the NE ridge which finishes near the summit. We had 70mph Westerly gales at the top with constant snow showers through out the day above 700m. A good, challanging winter's day! There is a lot of moist snow on Easterly aspects, this should consolidate and freeze up overnight tonight. Cornices look particulary menacing at the moment! Take care out there!

Friday, 7 March 2008

ENOUGH OF THE ALPINE STUFF

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It was back to full on winter conditions today on Tarmachan. I was in the Eastern corrie below Tarmachans' summit area and was looking at a possible gully, but with the avalanche potential increasing with the continuous heavy snowfall I decided on a nice route on the steep slopes that climb to the NE ridge. Great mixture of windslab on top of old hard snow, frozen turf and icy wind scoured ridges today. The visability was poor with cloud down to 600m and snowing most of the day to 400m. No one parked at the visitor centre and saw no one, only a ptarmigan on the hills today. Just stepped through the door and the sun popped out.

Snow showers and strong winds forecast for the weekend. Good to check: www.sais.gov.uk for up to date avalanche conditions. And it goes with out saying, ice axe and crampons essential!

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Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Y GULLY, CRUACH ARDRAIN





What a fantastic day here in The Highlands. Doug & I were climbing the wonderful Y Gully on Cruach Ardrain above Crianlarich. We went up the left hand option on the obvious gully in the centre of the North face of the hill, at grade 2. Excellent variation of conditions all the way up, from an ice pitch to windslab and neve. The sun shone from dawn to dusk and with a light breeze it was positively Alpine again. The route was untouched and we saw no one all day, even on the ridge down.
Great conditions the last 2 days for walking, climbing & skiing, what a wonderful place to be.


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Monday, 3 March 2008

UPHILL SKIER





Great day for ski mountaineering today after overnight snow down to all levels here in Perthshire. I was with Trevor and Norman ( expert mountaineering skiers!) on Beinn Heasgarnich. Good mix of snow conditions with soft fresh snow, windslab and water ice on the summit. All the gullies leading up to the summit area had a couple of metres of depth. My skiing skills are lacking on descent! It was cold but only light NW winds and lots of bright sunshine. Looks good for tomorrow after a frost tonight.

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Sunday, 2 March 2008

STUCHD AN LOCHAIN



Ian & I were on Stuchd an Lochain today, we went up the lovely wee North ridge from Loch an Daimh that finishes directly at the summit. There was more snow showers than sunshine on the hills today with a strong, cold NW greeting us at the top. Good build up of snow on Eastern slopes and crags, again with a mixture of softer snow, neve and ice in places.

More snow forecast to lower levels for first part of next week.

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Saturday, 1 March 2008

SCHIEHALLION





John & I found a nice route up Schiehallion today. We went up the NE slopes of the hill and found some excellent neve which led up to the NW shoulder that finishes at the summit. We made a good choice today as there was a lot of cloud on most hills in the North & West. The winds were only about 40mph and we only had a brief snow shower at the end of the day. There was a good variety of snow conditions on the Eastern descent ridge, ranging from hard neve, rime ice, water ice and windslab. Interesting to note a passing walker who had no ice axe but the latest model of GPS strapped on to his rucsac. Enough said.