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!
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.
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.
It was a glorious day again today in Glencoe. I was out with a new team from Ballachulish looking at winter skills such as ice axe arrest.
The highest altitude we reached was 750 metres. The snow was soft at this elevation.
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.
Today the team and I returned to Stob Coire nan Lochan. Here we climbed Pinnacle Buttress Groove in good conditions with nicely frozen turf. Teams on Summit Buttress also reported the turf to be useable.
Lots of evidence of wind transportation of the recent snowfall. There was some minor releases in the corrie as the temperature rose during the day.
Today the team and I visited Glencoe and traversed the Aonach Eagach in good conditions. There is a video on the facebook page which shows the conditions on the pinnacles.
There was significant redistribution of snow and graupel today in strong winds. This will have created significant avalanche hazard in many locations and it is worth visiting the SAIS website before heading out.
The team from Ballachulish and I headed into Stob Coire nan Lochan today. Here we climbed Dorsal Arete before descending Broad Gully.
The turf on the route improved with height. Broad Gully was full of new powder snow which had not been wind affected.
The winds during the day blew from many different directions, not just westerly as forecast. Therefore windslab may be found on a number of different aspects.
The weather has been fantastic on the West Coast of Scotland over the last couple of days. Yesterday, the team and went to the West Face of Aonach Mor where we climbed Gendarme Ridge.
The face was completely snow covered. Lots of redistribution of snow was taking place with slab forming in sheltered locations.
Today we visited Stob Coire nan Lochan. Here we climbed Pinnacle Buttress Groove. Mike Pescod’s book grades this route at III. This is more appropriate than the II/III given in the SMC guidebook in the current conditions.
The turf on the route was variable. Some of the snow in the corrie now takes an axe, but much is still unconsolidated.
It was a beautiful day in Glencoe today. A team from Ballachulish and I climbed Dinnertime Buttress in Glencoe before descending Stob Coire nan Lochan.
The route was in good condition from the chimney pitches upwards with good quantities of snow. Dinnertime does not rely on frozen turf which was useful today as the turf on this aspect is currently very variable.
I have posted a video on the facebook page to give an idea of snow cover.