19th February – 22nd February

Hi Folks.  Sorry for the lack of reports this week.  Paul and i have both been on a course at the Lodge.  Routes climbed by us and other course members over the last few days in the Northern Corries include; Crows Nest Crack, Ewen Buttress, Sidewinder, The Couloir, Goat Track Gully Left and Righthand, Hidden Chimney, Central Gully Lefthand and The Haston Line.  We found alot of good snow and ice around and some routes have surrvived the thaw on thursday.

17th February

Back in the Cairngorms today with the Falkirk High Tops Team.  We climbed Fiacall Ridge and then looked at snow belays and avalanche awareness skills.  Teams were out climbing in the gullys, on the Fiacall Buttress and on the area between Milky Way and Central Crack Route in Lochain.  We saw one team out ski touring.

16th February

Paul climbed Fluted Buttress Direct today. He noted good snow and ice in some of the gullys and one other team on Fingers Ridge who eventually finished up Broken Gully.

13th February

I visited Aonach Mor today with Craig and Mark and climbed White Shark.  The ice was mostly good apart from on the crux bulge where it was a bit cruddy.  A large cornice had formed and this proved a bit problomatic and time consuming.  Underneath the cornice soft slab was building throughout the day and a number of small spindrift avalanches swept the route.

The corrie was very busy with teams on both mixed and ice lines.

12th February

I spoke to Paul today, he had just climbed Indicator Wall on Ben Nevis. He saw one team on Smiths Route.

11th February

Today we headed to the Drummochter Pass for day two of the winter skills course.  We found some usefull snow and mixed buttresses around grade one behind The Sow.  Towards mid afternoon it was raining at all levels.  There is not enough snow currently in the Drummochter Pass for good ski touring.

10th February

The ski road to cairngorm was closed today so the Falkirk High Tops Team and i had to walk from the snow gates to Coire Na Ciste where we looked at some winter skills and avalanche awareness skills.  A very windy day.

7th February

Back on the Ben today.  I climed Shot in the Dark with Tony.  The whole Indicator Wall area was busy with teams queing for all the other routes.  Satanic Verses looks very lean and hard, Smiths and Indicator are fat, Good Friday and Tower Scoop look fine.  The snow and ice are very hard so worth sharpening picks and crampons.

I have tired legs now so going to have a rest thursday although it is still looking good for the Ben!

6th February

An east coast day today with Tim Blakemore.  We climbed Auricle in Coire an Lochain with Tim leading the crux in good style.  Condtions in the Corries are good for mixed climbing with frozen turf and plenty of rime.  Braeriach looked good also.  Any snow is bullet proof.  Other teams all in The Couloir.

5th February

Today i did my first Ben route of the season with Ian and Sharon.  We climbed Thompsons Route.  The first 15 metres are a bit lean, hence the jammed wire at the crux.  This section is probably mixed IV 5 at the moment.  After this conditions are good and climbing at the guidebook grade.  Other teams were on Green and Comb Gully, No.3 Gully, Two Step and Central Gully Right Hand (although they were having and interesting time with the cornice).