Last week I was in Kvaloya. This Norwegian island is located in the Artic Circle. It provided skiing from summit to sea and many beautiful summits to visit.
This week I am in Val d’Isère and Tignes off piste skiing and ski touring. This is one of my favourite European areas with quiet summits to visit and large areas of off piste.
On Tuesday, Ivor, Martin and I visited Bramcrag Quarry in the Lake District. This venue has been developed over the last few years and provides plenty of routes for the mid grade sports climber.
A nice final week of the season at Ballachulish; Curved Ridge, Dorsal Arête, West Gully Beinn an Dothaidh and snow anchors at the ski centre.
This week I have been working out of Ballachulish. We completed; Curved Ridge, Dorsal Arête, Broad Gully, Douglas Gap Traverse and Pink Rib.
Many easy gully lines are still complete but in the current conditions great care should be taken due to issues of rock fall.
I have just finished a brilliant weeks off piste skiing and ski touring at Alpbach in Austria. As a venue I thought it was outstanding with plenty of skiable summits and a huge amount of terrain. Additionally the mountains were quiet.
I hope to get back sooner rather than later.
This week I have been helping to deliver a Winter Mountain Leader Training course. There is large accumulations of snow in many locations. Careful studying of the avalanche forecasts and careful route choice is necessary in the current conditions.
This week I have been helping with the Guides winter test. Full winter conditions have returned to the Cairngorms with lots of snow, ice building and frozen turf.
Congratulations to both the candidates on their efforts in, at times, tough conditions.
Colin and l had a nice day today climbing the brilliant Souter sea stack and other rock climbs in the area. The friction is fine at the moment but many other routes are green.
This week I have been delivering a Winter Climbing Leader course for the Joint Services.
After visiting the Ice Factor on Monday we traversed the Douglas Boulder Gap on Tuesday. We then spent Wednesday climbing The Slant in Coire an t-Sneachda and on Thursday we went ice climbing very near to the Twin Burns in Coire an Lochain.
The conditions on the Douglas Boulder Traverse were fine. It should be noted that in other areas of Coire an Lochain from where we were that large amounts of ice were falling down.
Winter skills, avalanche awareness and avalanche rescue techniques this week with the Joint Services. We visited Glencoe Ski Centre, Aonach Dubh, A’Bhuidheanach Bheag and Cairn Gorm.
There is still a lot of wet snow around in a number of locations but a freeze is very much needed.