Sunday 30th March

Once more the Falkirk High Tops Team and i had an excellent day out in the Northern Highlands.  We headed up Stac Pollaidh for a days scrambling.  We stuck to the ridge as closley as possible, therefore giving ourselves some interesting problems.

We had good views to the Fannichs and An Teallach which still have a good covering of snow.

Saturday 29th March

The Falkirk High Tops Team, Mclaurin and i had a great day out today in the Northern Highlands.  We went up Cul Mor and Creag nan Calman.

We ascended  the east ridge of Cul Mor directly which gave excellent scrambling and climbing sections of around grade 1 on snow, ice, rock and turf.  The turf was frozen from 650m upwards.

The weather was excellent and we had fantastic views of The Fannichs and An Teallach.  There is still plenty of snow on these peaks for climbing and walking.

Friday 28th March

I was out on An Teallach today with the Falkirk High Tops Team.  It was a very wild day with rain, snow, hail and winds up to 70mph.

There is still plenty of ice and snow in the corries and the turf was frozen above 700m.  If it freezes again, the gully lines and buttress routes should be good.

At the moment the snowpack is very wet at lower elevations and there is large deposits of weakly bonded snow at higher elevations.

Thursday 27th March

Mark and i had a good day out in Glencoe today climbing Crowberry Gully.  We left Edinburgh early and finished the route by lunchtime as i am heading to the Northern Highlands with Falkirk Council for a few days.

The route was in good condition with enough neve on the harder pitches.  On the crux cave pitch two wires before the steepening and two ice screws on the steep section protected the pitch.

There was some spindrift avalanches coming down the route due to last nights snow.  There is some signs of avalanche activity on sun affected slopes.

Tuesday 25th March

I was out today on Lurchers Crag with Andy and Mark.  We climbed Quinn on the South Crag as Andy had previously done the ice routes on the North Crag.

Quinn gave a lovely little route with interesting moves under a jammed block.  However, there is some loose blocks that require attention.  The turf was mostly frozen and the crag was very white.

We had intended to do a second route but lost a lot of time on the walk in due to very deep snow.  On the walk out we got a glimpse off the Northern Corries which were looking very white.

Sunday 23rd March

Viv Scott and I did Blood, Sweat and Frozen Tears on Beinn Eighe yesterday. The route was in excellent condition. The freezing level had definitely risen by the end of the day however, with some damp conditions experienced on the walk out. A warmer day today in Torridon so we opted for a lie-in.

Poachers’ Fall was thin, with the freezing level only around the base of the route. Driving south a view across to Beinn Bhan showed Silver Tear in the making, but not yet…

Thursday 19th March

I was out today on Ben Ledi with Nic and Patryck looking at teaching winter skills and group management on steep ground.  We were situated in a corrie to the North East of the summit.  This is a great venue for this as it holds snow very well and has lots of different angles and aspects for teaching skills on.

Looking north to the Ben Lawers area, there is still a good covering of snow on these hills.

Tuesday 18th March

Martin climbed Forked Gully Right Hand on Stob Coire nan Lochan with Roo and Graham on Monday.The steep pitch gave a short near vertical wall of good ice with a covering of crud. The steep pitch looked as though it could be bypassed by going out right and back left if required. Plenty of soft snow with a crust in the coire, which is slowly consolidating. Parties on Boomerang Gully, Dorsal Arete and Twisting Gully and also tracks coming out of SC and NC.

Ski-ing on Aonoch Mor today (Tuesday). Cornices above east face looking big, but plenty of parties topping out. Couple of centimetres of fresh snow falling on a northerly wind during the afternoon starting with 10 minutes of graupel. Roo and Colin had climbed Golden Oldie on Saturday reporting good conditions.

Monday 17th March

Thanks to Martin Holland who has been writing the posts while i have been in Tignes. Out in Tignes, the conditions are excellent for both on and off piste skiing and the ski touring conditions are looking good also.

Today i was out on Lochnagar with Mark.  We had a great day in the Southern Sector climbing Jacobs Slabs, Gale Force Groove (aptly named in the weather conditions we experienced on the route) and Jasons Groove.

The routes were in excellent condition with frozen turf, some useful neve and a good amount of rime.  The approaches were fine. This may change as it was snowing fairly heavily towards the end of the day.

Friday 14th and Saturday 15th March

Friday: Martin and Jim Bayliss climbed Central Left Hand and then Pygmy Ridge. Fresh wind slab was more consolidated than expected on Northern slopes (i.e. slope from top of ribs on Central Left Hand to the base of Pygmy Ridge was very solid). Some sizable cornices over more East facing gully exits. Nic and Murray climbed Hidden Chimney and The Slant reporting some wind slab on the Slant, but generally OK.

Saturday: Martin and Tim climbed the upper fault variation of Astroturfer (note some loose blocks in the upper fault). Temperatures fairly high in coire with rime stripping from the butresses and a layer of softer moist snow on less steep ground (should consolidate well with a freeze). Cornice was easily bypassed on the left. Parties on Chute Route, Andromeda, Savage Slit, Fallout Corner and Sidewinder. Nic, Jim, Murray, Andy, Steve and T carried skis over to Lurcher’s burn and toured up the burn around over Cairn Lochan, down in to Domain and up to Cairngorm reporting good conditions and not too much rock dodging.