Levin and I have been out in Glencoe for the last two days. Yesterday we climbed Curved Ridge and Crowberry Tower on Buachaille Etive Mor. The route was in excellent condition. We descended via a snow bollard into Coire na Tulaich.
Today we climbed Dinnertime Buttress on Aonach Dubh, Dorsal Arete in SCNL and descended Broad Gully in SCNL. Dinnertime Buttress didn’t require crampons until beyond the crux chimney. Dorsal Arete was in the best condition I have ever seen it in. Broad Gully was descended on good snow (although there was some shallow windslab).
Lots more photos on the facebook page.
Yesterday a team and I from Ballachulish climbed Pearly Gates in Stob Coire nan Lochan. We climbed the route on good snow ice.
Today, we climbed Oganach Chimney which is on the north side of Am Bodach (the start of the Aonach Eagach). This route was first climbed in December 2017 by Andy Nelson and Andy Hogarth. It gave a nice grade III in the current conditions. The turf was frozen today however the snow was not. It was very, very wet. The route will be excellent once it freezes again.
These two routes have two things in common; very few runners and few belays. If you find a good one, take it!
Boomerang and Broad Gullies in Stob Coire nan Lochan today. Both routes were in good condition.
Currently there are lots of routes to do up to grade IV in good condition in SCNL.
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.
John, Martin and I were out climbing today in the Lost Valley Minor Buttress, Glencoe.
On the approach the ground was hard frozen and there was lots of ice around. When we reached the buttress large amounts of ice could be seen raising hopes of good conditions. This turned out to be a bit of an illusion as when we started up Right Edge route we discovered the turf on the first pitch was unfrozen. Conditions on the second and third pitch were better but still not good.
I would not recommend climbing on the crag currently although it is very white. Reports from SCNL were also of poorly frozen turf.
I have been out today on the Zig Zags on Gearr Aonach. After lasts nights deep freeze the terrain was well frozen and heavily verglassed. Crampons were useful from the first ‘Zig’ upwards. We descended via Stob Coire nan Lochan. The crags were white.
There are lots more photos on the facebook page.
Caroline, Chris, Tom and I visited Glencoe today. Following the recent snowfall and the forecast rapid rise in temperature, we opted to link Dinnertime Buttress and the upper section of Number 2 Gully to give us a safe route. The choice worked well with good snow present in Number 2 Gully after the introductory scrambling on the buttress below.
After gaining the summit of Aonach Dubh we practised ice axe arrest skills before descending Stob Coire nan Lochan in heavy rain.
On Monday I climbed Dinnnertime Buttress before descending Stob Coire nan Lochan. Below are a couple of photos from the day.
Yesterday, the lads from Ballachulish and I completed a link up of Dinnertime Buttress and Number 2 Gully in Glencoe. The quality of the snow on the buttress was variable. Some thought had to be given to the line taken on the exit from Number 2 Gully to ensure safe snow conditions.
We walked out via a busy Stob Coire Nan Lochan.
Today, the Falkirk High Tops Team and I visited Glencoe ski centre. We used the terrain to the east of the ski centre to look at ski touring techniques, avalanche rescue techniques and off piste ski skills. The conditions for skiing are currently excellent above 450 metres.
I have been back out today in Glencoe. We made an ascent of the Zig Zags on Gearr Aonach. The first ‘zig’ did not require axe and crampons but they were useful after this.
We continued along the ridge before using a steep gully line to look at snow anchors. The day was finished by traversing into Stob Coire nan Lochan and descending back to the bus.
The snow was wet and heavy at all levels. During the day there was a mixture of snow, rain and sleet at all levels. The buttresses of SCNL are very white.