Buachaille Etive Mor

I was out with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors scrambling team of Shona and Donald today. We had a great day climbing North Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor.

Shona and Donald on North-Buttress with Rannoch Moor behind.

It stayed dry for the route, although there was a shower as we descended and we drove back through some very heavy localised showers.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Gib and I had an excellent day in Glen Coe in the sun today. We climbed Curved Ridge up to the summit of Stob Dearg on Buachaille Etive Mor before descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Gib on the upper section of Curved Ridge with Rannoch Wall behind.

There was no snow on the route or in the gully behind Crowberry Tower and just a very short patch of soft snow to be crossed at the head of Coire na Tulaich. A stunning day in great company.

Glen Coe

John and I were out in Glen Coe today with a Falkirk Community Trust Winter Mountaineering Team of Alan, Antonia, Ben, Jacob, Peter and Tom. We climbed a very wintery Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor before descending via Coire na Tulaich.

Jacob, Antonia and Peter happy with the amazing views on top of Stob Dearg.

Views were excellent with clear cold weather. There was a strong South-East wind and there was plenty of wind movement of snow during the day with wind slab forming in sheltered locations. A great day to be out in the hills.

Curved, Castle and Ledge

For the last couple of days I have been guiding and instructing on behalf of www.highmountainguides.com. The aim of the two days was preparation for climbing the Matterhorn.

Alongside Mountain Guides Alan Kimber and Jonathon Preston, the team and I visited Buachaille Etive Mor in Glencoe on Friday. Here we climbed Curved Ridge before descending the route of ascent. This is great practice for the Matterhorn as the only way off the summit is to climb down the route of ascent!

Descending Curved Ridge.

Descending Curved Ridge.

Yesterday we visited Ben Nevis were we climbed up Castle Ridge and down Ledge Route. Ledge Route finishes at the bottom of Number 5 Gully and here we used an axe.

Climbing on Castle Ridge.

Climbing on Castle Ridge.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Today we visited Buachaille Etive Mor. It was another stunning day in Glencoe.

The snow was mostly soft at all altitudes with the odd patch of firmer neve.

Descending from the col at the top of Coire na Tulaich

Descending from the col at the top of Coire na Tulaich

Glencoe Ski Centre

Today we visited Glencoe Ski centre. We spent the day looking at avalanche rescue techniques and snow anchors.

A number of pistes were open today and from a distance the skiing looked good.

Buachaille Etive Mor.

Buachaille Etive Mor this morning.

Buachaille Etive Mor

Yesterday John and I climbed on Buachaille Etive Mor in Glen Coe with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors winter climbing team of Doug, Gregor, Lewis and Steve. We had a great day climbing North Buttress with excellent views and relatively low winds. After taking in the summit of Stob Dearg we were able to descend via Coire na Tulaich, but care and good route choice is required here with current snow conditions.

Gregor and Lewis near the bottom of the chimneys.

Gregor and Lewis near the bottom of the chimneys.

The recent snow isn’t consolidated, is deep in sheltered locations and contains a fair amount of graupel. There is very little old snow on The Buachaille, but where new snow overlies old snow there are very easy shears. A North-East wind was redistributing snow throughout the day meaning there will be potential for avalanches on lots of aspects today and until the snow consolidates. Higher up on the route, above the chimneys, there is a thin layer of generally crusty snow ice, which isn’t very helpful for climbing and it’s worth allowing extra time in your planning for this. I’ll put some more photos on The ClimbNow Facebook page.

Gregor high on North Buttress with the expanse of Rannoch Moor behind.

Gregor high on North Buttress with The Kingshouse and the expanse of Rannoch Moor behind.

Curved Ridge

The lads from Ballachulish and I were on Curved Ridge today in Glencoe (Buachaille Etive Mor). Conditions on the route were excellent.

It is worth putting crampons on just after the waterslide as much of the terrain above this is currently covered in ice and moving without them would be very difficult.

We descended today via Coire na Tulaich which today did not present any problems.

The crux corner.

The crux corner.

Curved Ridge

John and I were out with a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors team of Devon, Emanuelle, Linda, Tzvetie and Wilson today climbing Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor in Glen Coe.

Devon just above the first steep section low down on Curved Ridge.

Devon just above the first steep section low down on Curved Ridge.

There was fresh snow down to around 450m and it snowed fairly continuously throughout the day. There was some north-westerly in the wind and no real base, so there was no problem descending in to Coire na Tulaich after we’d summited Stob Dearg. The conditions made for relatively slow progress as there was a lot of clearing required to find rock holds. There’s some ice around, but not much of it was useful on the route. I’ll put some more photos / videos of conditions on the ClimbNow Facebook page.

Glen Coe

John and I were out today in Glen Coe with a Falkirk Community Trust team of Andrea, Gregor, Helen and Marco. There were rain showers as we drove across Rannoch Mor and cloud down to about 400m , so we opted for an ascent of North Buttress on Buachaille Etive Mor.

Andrea in the cloud high on North Buttress.

Andrea in the cloud high on North Buttress.

The rock was drier than expected and we only had very minor rain showers; this made for a pleasant day although unfortunately no real views. We climbed to the summit of Stob Dearg and descended via Coire na Tulaich.