Thursday 8th January (Northern Cairngorms)

The SeamI was out with Sharon and Iain today. We climbed The Seam in Coire an t-Sneachda. It was a very pleasant, if slightly windy, day with the temperature around zero in the coire.

Unfortunately, it seams to have all gone a bit pear shaped since Thurday. Fingers crossed for some more decent weather soon.

Saturday 3rd January

I was up near Ullapool today for some obscure ice climbing. At 150m above sea level, the Corrieshalloch and near-by gorges are fairly esoteric water ice venues. However we did spy one long (55m) icefall that looked interesting. It was only on the abseil down that we realised it wasn’t as steep as it looked. It still provided some good entertainment though, and it was only ten minutes from the road!

Tuesday 30th December

Firstly, let me use this belated post to wish you all a Happy New Year. On Tuesday I hitched a lift with Adam (of Hughes Mountaineering) and Greg (blog) to Torlundy and the start of everyone’s favourite Ben walk-in. I had a good day soloing about ticking off some routes I hadn’t done before and a couple of classics I had, stopping for the occassional chat along the way.

The haul for the day went: Point Five, Glover’s Chimney, The Cascade, Expert’s Choice, Comb Gully, Green Gully, and Central Gully Right-Hand.  I also descended a few easier classics: Number Two Gully, Raeburn’s Easy Route, Number Three Gully and Ledge Route. All the routes were in fairly good condition with the first five probably being the best.

The photo is of Adam and Greg on Smith’s Route taken from Tower Gap, the top of Glover’s Chimney. They said the route was in good condition though a little steeper than normal with a few thin (thus slightly run-out) stretches.  Neill and Neil climbed the route today (New Year’s – that’s motivation!) also reporting excellent conditions.

Looking fine until Sunday now. Enjoy!

Thursday 11th Decmeber

Dark Mass DirectI was out again with Gareth, and today we also met up with Iain Small. We had a good day in Glen Coe on Church Door Buttress, Bidean nam Bian. Iain had a new route in mind, a straightening-up of Dark Mass. The new route, Critical Mass (VII, 7), has a (steep) new first pitch and a direct final pitch (rather than traversing off right).

As the photo shows, the crag was pretty well rimed up.

Wednesday 10th December

Kami-KazeI was up on Beinn Eighe today – again – this time with Gareth. We climbed Kami-Kaze on Far East Wall, an excellent route. Both Far East Wall and the Eastern Ramparts were well rimed and the day turned out to be very pleasant, which made walking through the early morning drizzle and unforecast gales just about worth it 😉

The photo is of Gareth on the 3rd pitch.

Saturday 6th December

Beinn Eighe - Eastern RampartsI was out on Beinn Eighe, a fabulous sunrise tempered my annoyance at the walk-in (walk-up?) over the hill. We did a new, more direct, variation to Gnome Wall on the Eastern Ramparts.

We walked past the Far East Wall as it didn’t look very white to us, possibly plastered in verglas, but I couldn’t see it – can you?

The Eastern Ramparts had a bit more in the way of aesthetically pleasing whiteness but still not that many justifiable lines to be had, probably Samurai and Shang-High being the best options.

Tuesday 25th November

Cornucopia, pitch 2I was out with Gareth on Ben Nevis today, the high buttresses were very white and the turf was generally good. We climbed Cornucopia in an interrupted fashion. I dropped a tool into No.3 Gully just shy of the belay on pitch 2, fortunately (after lowering-off) I found it just 20ft down the gully – phew!

The temperature rose considerably in the afternoon though there was little thawing up the top. Unfortunately the the rain looks set to do that tomorrow.

Saturday 22nd November

Full Frontal, pitch 2I was up on Stob Coire an Laoigh, one of the Grey Coires, with Viv. We did a new route up the arête between Pentagon and Tallibalan. Full Frontal goes at VII,7. Another pair climbed Centrepoint.

The turf was frozen where exposed, but turf on ledges, buried under snow, was not frozen.

[Photo: c/o and © Viv Scott]

Sunday 23rd March

Viv Scott and I did Blood, Sweat and Frozen Tears on Beinn Eighe yesterday. The route was in excellent condition. The freezing level had definitely risen by the end of the day however, with some damp conditions experienced on the walk out. A warmer day today in Torridon so we opted for a lie-in.

Poachers’ Fall was thin, with the freezing level only around the base of the route. Driving south a view across to Beinn Bhan showed Silver Tear in the making, but not yet…

Friday 14th March

I was out skiing in the back corries of Nevis Range on Aonach Mor today. The snow conditions were superb with several runs “down the back” all from different drop-ins. A crust was forming on the snow by late afternoon, but I’m sure it’ll still be excellent tomorrow. Mind the cornices though, some quite impressive cracks forming!

There were many jealous looks from those out winter walking on the hill today…