I have just spent the last week in Zermatt skiing on and off piste and ski touring.ÃÂ On monday we ski toured over to the Cima di Jazzi on the Swiss-Italian border and then desended to Gant.ÃÂ There has been a lot of high winds in the region leading to difficult skiing conditions on ‘giant’ sastrugi at some points.ÃÂ Other areas were holding good powder or spring snow.
It then snowed tuesday and wednesday leading to excellent off piste conditions later in the week.ÃÂ
This week i am at the CIC hut tuesday and wednesday and then potentially i will be back on the Ben on friday if conditions hold.
The Ben is in great condition this week.
Lots of teams on N.E.B. Zero, 0.5, Good Friday, Indicator and Indicator RH and Smiths Route, I spotted a team on Orion Direct on Tuesday but it looked quite thin in Places. Two step corner has been climbed and of course green and comb gullies are popular but Diana and quick step are not quite there.
Watch out for the big wet cornices get up early and make the most of the fat ice
Yesterday i was out with the Falkirk High Tops Team.ÃÂ We had intended to have a days winter climbing before our CIC hut weekend later this month but as only the easy gully’s are in condition in Glencoe and the Cairngorms we went rock climbing at The Souter instead.
We had a great day out first of all climbing the sea stack and then the rest of the team led a number of routes on the nearby fins.ÃÂ There are some excellent Diff’s, V Diff’s and Severes as well as a large number of harder routes in this area.
The rock is currently as clean as i have ever seen it.ÃÂ Now is a good time to go before the bird ban commences.
I had a great day out today with the Falkirk High Tops Team in Glencoe.ÃÂ We traversed the Aonach Eagach.ÃÂ It felt like being in the Alps with snow aretes, little mixed sections and wall to wall sunshine.ÃÂ The descent was also pretty easy due to snow runnels down to 400m from the col just before the summit of the last munro.
Greg and Boy Wonder had a great day in the Northern Corries climbing Watch Out and Stirling Bomber.ÃÂ Congratulations to Greg who has been sponsered by Vaude and Edelrid.ÃÂ See Gregs site for some photos of these routes.
Greg and i had a great day out climbing the uber classic White Magic in the Northern Corries.ÃÂ It was a very windy day but worth the effort.ÃÂ The crack was choked with ice which gave some good placements but made finding gear a bit more hard work.ÃÂ
Adam and Boy Wonder climbed Salvation reporting similar conditions.
Out for a quick solo trip in the Cairngorms today. I climbed Central Left Hand, which was complete and generally on good neve, with a pleasant bit of ice on the left at the top. I then headed across to Stag Rocks and descended the Y-gully on soft sugary snow, which requires care not to go through to the stream. Then put the axe and crampons away for a “summer” ascent of Afterthought Arete, which was completely free of snow/ice except for a dusting of fresh snow near the top, before heading back out.
The major gully lines in Sneachda were all still complete with the usual suspects of Jacob’s, Alladin’s, Alladin’s Mirror, and the Trident Gullies all appearing to be getting mass ascents as I was walking out. The old snow was generally solid above about 800m, there were some minor accumulations of new snow on East and North aspects and light snow falling occasionally above 800m on a south westerly to westerly. Raining fairly hard as I drove back through Drumochter, which may mean there was more fresh snow in the afternoon. Turf was still fairly firm above 900m except where water was running.
For the past three days i have been in the Highlands with the Falkirk High Tops Team.
On friday we headed into Coreag Dubh Mor on Liathach and climbed Way Up before traversing the ridge.ÃÂ The gully was complete all the way with good snow.ÃÂ Thanks to James Edwards of High Mountaineering for this information.
The next day we headed into Sgorr Ruadh and climbed North Gully.ÃÂ The gully was complete with excellent snow apart from one rope length at the top.ÃÂ This is a beautiful gully which emerges 400m from the summit.ÃÂ
On sunday we drove down to the Cairngorms to do a quick route on the way home.ÃÂ We climbed The Runnel.ÃÂ The route is still in condtion but getting lean at the top of the chimney.ÃÂ Alladins Couloir, Jacobs Ladder, Central Gully and Central Gully Left Hand still look ok.ÃÂ It is still possible to ski from the top of the Goat Track to the summit of Ben Macdui on good cover.