/ Conditions - Arrochar and Bridge of Orchy
We were on Ben Vane on Monday, and there was still masses of snow on Ben Narnain and Ben Ime - looked as though there were some complete gullies on the Cobbler too.
A few pics
Was also on Ben Vane day after Toredore and the snow was sugary and soft once it was in sun a while, but anything out of sun would be bomb proof neve above 600m say. Naturally, an early start would help, don't need to go mad - just don't start late afternoon.
Central Gully on Ben Lui for instance would be as good as it gets...if you have a head for heights and the confidence, jug steps all the way up and rock hard and avalance proof. Was there on Monday with just our party of three and two other solo for whole day. We went up to left of corrie finding great low level mountaineering but one of the solo guys did central I believe (spoke to other chap later).
All above provided temps haven't risen massively or sun has suddenly gained the ability to get round the corrie (unlikely)
What a great week!
Just came down West Gully this morning - there is still a cornice but it can be entirely avoided on the right (looking up the gully). The gully is in solid condition, but be aware that the exits to some routes are softening very rapidly in the sunshine. Even at 10am it was getting pretty sugary and soft in the sunshine.
Soloed Taxus this morning - getting a bit thin at the bottom, but generally good conditions after a clear and frosty night. Temperature was rising on my way down though, not sure it'll survive too much thaw.
Yesterday afternoon. Was on Beinn a' Choin. As you'd expect top layer turns slushy in the sun but the shaded snowfields stayed solid into the afternoon.
That's a cracking photo Kevin.
took a wander up central gully of the central peak of the cobbler last Sunday, must have been easily 10+ people going up it, not much else there getting done though
> > Central Gully on Ben Lui for instance would be as good as it gets...if you have a head for heights and the confidence, jug steps all the way up >
Went up Central Gully last Sunday, once above the old avalanche debris on the floor of the coire perfect unblemished neve, only obvious footprints were in the wee sugary layer as you approached the top. My burning calfs would have welcomed the odd bucket step!! Totally agree, it was as good as it gets!
Aye the fellah I saw going up on Monday looked like he was on hard neve in coire but from top there looked to be a long line of deep footprints to top - I just wondered how 'safe' it was when those steps were put 'in' as they looked quite deep suggesting the pack wasn't.
My balls weren't big enough to try it, but it looked bomber right the way up. Still all well in the shade at 11am...except the actual reach-over. Few better opportunities. Another year!
I'm sure the final topping out on the final few vertical feet focuses the mind...
Taxis is still there, but would agree the thaw is doing some damage. The bottom icepitch is still there but there is a hole behind it and a bare patch above, the middle ice pitch was thick. The upper icefall finish was dripping and thin but the main route was very enjoyable. Most pick and crampon placements were solid. Nobody else seen or heard except for a hillwalker near the summit.
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