/ Northern Corries conds?
UKC log shows little recent activity,is this down to last week's snowfall?
Thanks in advance,
Lots of photos of the Cairngorm Massif inc Coire an Lochain from yesterday on my Facebook albums. The Vent has a massive vertical corniced wall at the top!
Quiet again today despite excellent weather and snow conditions on many routes not threatened by unavoidable cornices - more photos on Facebook!
Strange you should mention it was quiet today...I was in 3 separate corries near Bridge of Orchy today - all the routes were in condition and the sun was out after an early freeze....number of climbers apart from me? Er.......none. Any theories?
Andy, as I say I'm not complaining but I really don't understand why more folk are not out winter climbing.
Often in early and mid season, when weather and snow conditions are crap the venues are totally mobbed!
I thought it would be busier in school holidays?
I've been noticing the same, even at weekekends, and it is puzzling.
My twin theories are that fuel costs/recession are starting to bite, and that a lot of folk have "fed their rat" and used up their climbing credits already this season.
There is also the issue of maintaining psyche over a long season - after 5 and a half months of winter routing I'm starting to struggle with this myself!
True, and summer rock is an easier option.
Andy, Ron & Jamie,
I think you all have excellent points about why there are so few people out - and yes, I DO think there are a LOT less people out. Jamie's point about petrol costs I think is a particularly valid one. I am not complaining either Ron, it's great to be able to do, as I did yesterday, 2 routes and see no other climbers, less than 2 hrs walk from the roadhead, but for some reason I am a bit concerned...and I'm not sure why...possibly because I feel that apart from a core of die-hards, trad/adventurous climbing is dying on it's arse? I rarely see people on trad rock mountain routes these days in Scotland and maybe the winter stuff is heading the same way? Is my concern miss-placed ? Does it really matter anyhow?
Maybe they have all had the sense to go to the far north!
The school holidays are an issue though< its why I'm not out.
Do send me your new route descriptions for this year, especially Slioch which I'm told you're writing up.
I've noticed in the past that April is quiet.
I don't think winter climbing is declining, but I do think trad rock in the hills is less popular, although new guidebooks have spread folk out.
There was me hoping others would do it!
I think folks' minds have moved to warm rock and spring-like activities. Also, if you take away the guys South of the Border who cannot just drop everything just because the conditions are good, you take away a lot of teams. I suggest your 'packed' venues during marginal conditions is due to the 'we're booked, so we're going' phenomenon rather than any insidious alteration in climbing preferences....
Well, that said, an erstwhile winter partner of mine has just come back from a week's clipping in Spain. QED? ;)
I'm hoping to get a few more routes in this year now, but I have a full diary cycling and climbing elsewhere, planned before the current conditions...get my drift?
> Hi Ron,
> Strange you should mention it was quiet today...I was in 3 separate corries near Bridge of Orchy today - all the routes were in condition and the sun was out after an early freeze....number of climbers apart from me? Er.......none. Any theories?
Glad to hear it - had a good day yersel ?
Don't forget the Lakes and North Wales are enjoying excellent winter climbing conditions, which is almost unheard of in April - a lot of the visitors the Scottish venues usually get in the holidays will simply have saved themselves a big drive and ticked off some of the rarely formed classics south of the border...
> Very busy on Beinn Dothaidh today so maybe your other post got folk out???
IMHO that's part of the problem as folk don't make their own choices but rely on reports on the internet...
> I don't think winter climbing is declining, but I do think trad rock in the hills is less popular, although new guidebooks have spread folk out.
The last few summers have been pants weatherwise... I haven't gotten much rock done in years. Could explain it...
> IMHO that's part of the problem as folk don't make their own choices but rely on reports on the internet...
The sudden die off of interest in winter happens every year. You often see 2 consecutive weekends of good conditions on Ben Nevis one where the hill is mobbed and the other a ghost town. This is often in late March. Its like people suddenly run out of psyche for heavy sacks and long walk ins and are looking forwards to dry sunny rock and an easier life.
Agree with Andy about decrease in trad rock climbers in the mountains though.
With you on that, but let's hold that thought for just a couple more days!
I tried unsuccessfully to get someone to climb on the buachaille with me last year as well. A lot of trad climbers I know like spending a nice day in the sea breeze and sunshine out at Aberdour/Hawk Craig than heading up into the mountains.
Or they are all out ski touring as conditions look good at the moment.
Glen Shee hills were certainly pretty busy on Saturday!
> I tried unsuccessfully to get someone to climb on the buachaille with me last year as well. A lot of trad climbers I know like spending a nice day in the sea breeze and sunshine out at Aberdour/Hawk Craig than heading up into the mountains.
Driving back from Fort William yesterday at 0800 the two Bidean car parks and the wee Buachaille car park totally empty, looked like they did during the last foot and mouth epedemic!! Me and my mate climbed half a dozen routes at the Hawkcraig on sunkissed rock on the 17th Feb, there were a couple there in shorts and didn't look out of place, felt pretty bizzare. The way things are going I'll be climbing in thermals mid summers day.
On Saturday away from the ski area we didn't see many skiers either so maybe folk are just not travelling and going to their local hills!
Took my novice mate over the Tarmachan Ridge on sat, at it was bristling with walkers, and Lawers with ski-tourers. It's just us from the Central Belt aren't needing to go so far North for good conditions right now! ;)
Oh, and I had a great day on Gardyloo Gully on the 29th April last year, and saw almost no-one on the mountain. Nowt new with minds drifting to other things by this time in the season surely.
"I rarely see people on trad rock mountain routes these days in Scotland "
You've obviously not been on the same routes on the same days as me! Admittedly it's definitely possible to have a day doing a mountain route and see no-one, but they're not that easy to come by (maybe easier if you climb harder?).
Yes, last summer was fantastic. Late May all the way through to the end of August!
I think there are a lot more climbs logged in the Scottish mountains in a good winter than a good summer though. Most the rock climbers seem to honeypot to a few climbs also, away from those it's quite common to not see other climbers IMO especially on your route. The buchaille however pretty much always has climbers on it during dry summer days!
Yes in the mountains I think there's a tendency for folk to just flock towards the *** rock classics, more so perhaps than in winter?
In winter you have no choice but to go into the mountains as there's rarely stuff to do at low level - obviously this isn't the case in summer.
Firstly it was deserted. The Ben seems to be where its at.
Big cornices above the trident gullies.
Some useful ice in the grooves on fluted buttress going by Broken Fingers with reasonably straightforward exits.
Fresh powder collecting on the approach apron.
The goat track looked dodgy, fresh powder sitting on possible windslab.
I descended the gully further towards faicaill buttress (0.5?) which was hard neve for the most part.
hope this helps.
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