16th to 19th April Loch Tay

In the Loch Tay area over the last few days. Colder temperatures have firmed up the patches of old snow and larger gullies. A light covering of fresh snow (mostly graupel) has fallen down to around the 500m level.
Meall nan Tarmachan from Meall Buidhe

Meall nan Tarmachan from Meall Buidhe

9th to 11th April Ben Nevis and Aonoch Mor

Based in Fort William over the last few days with David, Graham and Colin. Friday we were on Ben Nevis and climbed Tower Scoop and Tower Gully. The ice on Tower Scoop was soft, but ok. Later in the day Observatory Gully was receiving a lot of debris from the Indicator Wall area, which was setting off minor wet slab avalanches.
Colin on the lower section of Tower Scoop

Colin on the lower section of Tower Scoop

Tower Gully Cornice

Tower Gully Cornice

Saturday David, Colin and I opted for an alpine style ridge and headed for Western Rib on the West Face of Aonoch Mor. This face isn’t seeing the sun until about 11:00 am and gave an excellent 500m route on snow, granite and suprisingly well frozen turf. Some care was required with the odd loose block.

Ben Nevis from Aonoch Mor

Ben Nevis from Aonoch Mor

Sunday Colin and I headed for the West Face of Aonoch Mor again, whilst Graham and David chose sunny rock climbing in Glen Nevis. We climbed Daim Buttress, giving another 500m of very alpine style scrambling/climbing. This route seems to catch more sun and the turf was generally soft and to be avoided except in shaded corners. The rock gave good sport, but much more care was required with loose blocks, particularly through the crux area on the left of the slabs.

Daim Buttress

Daim Buttress

The weather was stunning with high temperatures and wall to wall sunshine on Saturday and Sunday. A little refreeze over Saturday night, but most things are softening up and gullies are catching a lot of snow and ice from the sides as temperatures warm up. A second hand report that Point 5 was climbed on Sunday and despite an early start the upper sections were unpleasantly lively with slides from above.

8th April The Ben Alder area

The Falkirk High Tops Team and i had a long day out in the Ben Alder area where we ascended two munros after cycling to Culra Bothy. Ice axe and crampons are still required on these peaks for safe movement. Many big easy gullys look in condition on Ben Alder though some have large cornices.

This is my last report of the winter. Have a great summer and please join us again next year.

All the best

Euan

3rd to 5th April Dumfries and Galloway

Out with Jen and B in Dumfries and Galloway on Saturday and had a wander around Corserine (814m) and Meikle Millyea. Patchy soft snow above 400m and complete cover high up. Snow showers above 500m on a variable light wind. If the bigger gullies on the east side of this ridge survive the thaw and get a refreeze they’d give some good, easy sport.

Approaching the summit of Corserine

Approaching the summit of Corserine

Climbed on dry granite at Clifton and bimbled up Criffel on Sunday then up Queensberry Hill (697m) on Monday. Patches of soft snow above 500m, but thawing fast in steady rain to above summits all Monday morning on a fresh southerly wind.

3rd April Cam Chreag and the Southern Highlands

Ann, Glenn and i were out today on Cam Chreag on the side of Meall nan Tarmachan. There are still a number of? gully climbs in condition on this crag which appears in the Southern Highlands guidebook. The turf was frozen also. Good ski touring conditions still exist between Ben Lawers and Meall Garbh.