Learn to Lead on Ice

The lads and I visited Stob Coire nam Beith today. We found some shelter from the ferocious winds and the team did a great job leading a four pitch ice route near An t Sron at about grade III.

There are lots of single and multi pitch ice routes currently present in the coire that are not in the guidebook. These provide great opportunities for learning to lead without the commitment of being on a big route.

Climbing ice in Stob Coire nam Beith.


Aonach Mor, Stob Coire nam Beith and An t Sron

Yesterday the team and I headed to Aonach Mor to practice avalanche rescue techniques and micro navigation. The plateau area of Aonach Mor is still completely white and some good ski options still exist.

Large cornices still exist on easterly aspects.

Today we were in Glencoe where we climbed to the summit of Stob Coire nam Beith and then traversed An t Sron. There is still plenty of snow in Glencoe and lots of options still exist for gully and buttress climbing.

The snow is very firm at the moment and good crampon technique is required.

Descending from the summit of Stob Coire nam Beith.

Descending from the summit of Stob Coire nam Beith.

Stob Coire Nam Beith

I have been out today in Stob Coire Nam Beith with a team of trainee instructors looking at skills such as; snow anchors for approaching and descending routes and short roping. We spent the day in the An-t-Sron area of the hill where we found good steep snow for this purpose.

Summit Gully appeared to be in good condition but we opted not to do it due to the large spindrift avalanches we witnessed and the 111mph winds forecast for the top!

Practising short roping.

Practising short roping.

Dinnertime Buttress

We had a good day today on Aonach Dubh in Glencoe. We climbed Dinnertime Buttress to the top before descending Number 2 Gully to regain the buttress at half height. The turf was frozen above 650 metres. The gully had a solid layer of neve covered in about 6 inches of fresh snow.

Stob Coire nam Beith from Aonach Dubh.