Stob Coire nan Lochan

I was out with John, Mike, Billy, James and Simon from Falkirk Community Trust today. The day was originally programmed as a ski-mountaineering day, but with the snow loss over the weekend we figured we’d be carrying the skis a long way, so we opted for a winter climbing day instead.

Mike and James on a belay in Twisting Gully

Mike and James on a belay in Twisting Gully

We headed up in to Stob Coire nan Lochan and climbed the classic Twisting Gully, which was in very good condition with first time axe placements wherever required.

Mike and James enjoying the views on Twisting Gully

Mike and James enjoying the views on Twisting Gully

After the weekends thaw, buttress lines were still looking fairly black although there’d been some fresh snow, which was generally small accumulations in sheltered locations. Older snow had refrozen well at crag height. Turf was well frozen. Not a lot of ice around and things like Twisting Gully Right Fork and the ice pitch on SC gully looked very thin or not there. Light Westerly winds today with cloud above the summits and no precipitation.

Stob Coire nan Lochan

Out today with John and a Falkirk Community Trust Team of Doug, Gayle and Graham. With the freezing level forecast to be 900m or higher we headed up high to Stob Coire nan Lochan. This paid off and the crag was in pretty good condition. Gullies were generally firm snow or ice, turf was well frozen and the higher areas of crag were rimed.

Doug, Gayle and I climbed the classic Twisting Gully, which was in excellent condition, although busier than it had looked on approach.

Gayle at the base of the route

Gayle at the base of the route

John and Graham climbed Twisting Gully Right Fork, which was good, although the ice/snow could have been better around the top of the first ice fall. They then soloed down Broad Gully and climbed the sporting “left slanting chimney-groove” direct start to Dorsal Arete finishing up the arête.

Doug above the difficulties in Twisting Gully

Doug above the difficulties in Twisting Gully

There’d been a little fresh snow overnight and this was sitting on top of the well consolidated older snow. Some very light snow on a South-Easterly wind during the day. Below freezing at crag height all day, but very mild on the approach and descent from the coire.

Stob Coire nan Lochan

The weather and conditions continue to be amazing in the Scottish Highlands. Chris and I visited Stob Coire nan Lochan today and climbed Twisting Gully. We followed this by descending Broad Gully and climbing Dorsal Arete. All three routes were in amazing condition. After some lunch we continued to the summit where we met the Falkirk High Tops Team. We all descended the North East Ridge of SCNL together. This ridge, as with all the ridges in Glencoe at the moment, has very firm snow and good crampon technique is essential.

Chris climbing on Dorsal Arete.

Chris climbing on Dorsal Arete.