Monday 22nd December

Rosie and i were out today in Stob Coire Nan Lochain (Glencoe).  We climbed Broad Gully and descended the north east ridge.  The gully was in excellent condition for step kicking so we did not require crampons.  Glenn was also in the coire.  He climbed NC gully reporting it to be complete and good fun before descending Broad Gully.

Sunday 21st December

Greg and Adam were out yesterday in the Northern Corries where they climbed Fingers Ridge Direct.  They really enjoyed the route saying the route had good snow on the ledges, bomber turf and ice in the cracks.

Neil and Neil climbed Aladdins Mirror Direct and Pateys Route.

Greg and Adam attempted to climb today but there has been an overnight thaw and the winds were reaching 100 mph so they decided to go for coffee instead.

Wednesday 17th December

Out on Cam Chreag (Meall nan Tarmachan) again today with Pamela. The weather was pretty wild and we decided it wasn’t a day to be hanging around on belays; so we headed up the easy Grade I gully bounding the left edge of Rhombus Buttress (the buttress Davy and I had climbed on Monday in mistake for Lozenge Buttress). This is the first gully east of the easy descent gully from the Meall Garbh/Meall nan Tarmachan col.

The route gave a very pleasant easy Grade I with a nice narrow left hand finish up the left of the small central buttress at the top. If it’s not been done before the suggested name is Cauldron Gully. The old snow was solid after the thaw and minor refreeze and gave plenty of scope to review axe belays, bucket seats and step cutting with Pamela.

Snowing on and off all day on a strong west then south-west wind with fresh snow depositing in sheltered areas. Freezing level rising during the day with snowpack becoming moist, and turf softening up. We were back to the road by 14:30, by which time it was wet sleet at road level and thawing fast below 700m.    


Wednesday 17th December

Heres a quick report from the last couple of days.

I was out on monday and ended up climbing Topless on the Mess of Pottage as my planned routes were all completley buried.  The route required a lot od digging on the technical sections.  Pete climbed The Message and we could see teams on Jacobs Ladder and Aladdins Couloir.

Yesterday, Adam and Greg climbed Hookers Corner in Coire an Lochain.  A good effort on a pretty horrible day.  Photos can be seen on Gregs blog (see links at the side of the conditions page).

Monday 15th December

I was out today with Davy Virdee on Cam Chreag (Meall nan Tarmachan). The cloud was in on the approach and we initially climbed a route thinking it to be Lozenge Buttress; in our defence the shape of the buttress and the bounding gullies fitted the description. However, as the climbing was too easy, the route was too short and it brought us out just east of the Meall Garbh/Meall nan Tarmachan col, we descended from the col and located the correct Lozenge Buttress and climbed that. The first route gave an easy, but hard to protect 100m, II with a suggested name of Rhombus Buttress. Lozenge Buttress gave good climbing on generally solid turf (which felt fairly steep for the initial 50m) and fairly deep soft snow. Definitely a place to take warthogs as these provided most of the runners and belays.

Snow down to the Ben Lawers visitor centre on our arrival. It felt below freezing all day above about 700 to 800m. Some fresh snow and transportation on a SW wind (enough to partially fill in our approach tracks). Turf was frozen hard where exposed. A light drizzle was falling by our return to the car park at about 4pm.

There’s a couple of photos over on Davy’s site Mountain Active Blog.

Sunday 14th December

Greg and James were out today in the Northern Corries.  They climbed Savage Slit.  Greg reports that it was heavily rimed and that there was some snow showers during the day.

Thursday 11th Decmeber

Dark Mass DirectI was out again with Gareth, and today we also met up with Iain Small. We had a good day in Glen Coe on Church Door Buttress, Bidean nam Bian. Iain had a new route in mind, a straightening-up of Dark Mass. The new route, Critical Mass (VII, 7), has a (steep) new first pitch and a direct final pitch (rather than traversing off right).

As the photo shows, the crag was pretty well rimed up.

Thursday 11th December

Michael went in to Beinn Dorain today to climb Messiah.  Unfortunately he deemed it too black.  He did note however that the turf was frozen hard and there was a lot of verglas about so if it snows it may be good.

After this he wandered over to the other side of the corrie and climbed the ice route Farenheit 451 in good but thin conditions.  The other ice route on the crag was also in condition.

Wednesday 10th December

Kami-KazeI was up on Beinn Eighe today – again – this time with Gareth. We climbed Kami-Kaze on Far East Wall, an excellent route. Both Far East Wall and the Eastern Ramparts were well rimed and the day turned out to be very pleasant, which made walking through the early morning drizzle and unforecast gales just about worth it 😉

The photo is of Gareth on the 3rd pitch.

Wednesday 10th December

Out today in Coire an-t’Sneachda with Pamela climbing Western Rib. Weather was somewhat worse than forecast with the crag being in clag all day and a good bit of new snow falling on what felt like a north-easterly (this may have been quite localised as the stars were out by the time I was driving past the Ruthven Barracks on the way home). We descended the Goat Track, which was fine with the worst of the new snow being stripped of the slope.

The old snow is consolidating, but still quite crustry in places. The ice in the start of Goat Track Gully was bomber. The crag’s fairly heavily rimed and getting more so throughout the day and quite a lot of the cracks are choked with ice. Plenty of parties in the coire, but we could only see two parties on Finger’s Ridge.

Pamela was out on Seana Braigh yestreday and reports 4 to 10″ of fresh snow falling on top of the older snow and ice forming above 700m.