/ What's likely to be in on/around the Ben for Monday/Tuesday

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mmmhumous on 20 Apr 2013
I'm headed up north tomorrow, and I have a ice climbing course booked on the Monday/Tuesday with the Ice Factor. Anyone know which routes are still likely to be in condition by then? We're looking for grade 3-4 ice routes ideally.

Will Taxus still be in (it's been on my partner's wish list for a while now).

Milesy - on 20 Apr 2013
Taxus probably unlikely I would say. Looks like plenty on The Ben up high. I hope to get up again myself. Good Friday Climb is probably a good shout and I fancy getting up to take a look at this myself before the season finished. Your course guide will know more. I wouldnt worry about it. Looks to be getting a wee cold snap again.
TobyA on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous: I climbed the Buchaille today, and walked up Stob Coire Nan Lochan yesterday, beside easy snow climbs (which are soft-ish) there aren't any winter routes left in Glencoe it seems, although you want an axe for coming down. The top of the Ben is another few hundred metres higher so you might have more luck there. I hear that some ice routes got done there today, but at least at the moment you're going to have to go high!

I drove past Beinn an Dothaidh on Friday, plenty of snow still up there but I doubt the steeper routes are really there.
Withnail - on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

Was up on the Ben today-indicator wall area-cracking ice. Spoke to quite a few folk on the hill: Good friday was done, Glover's chimney, point 5, tower ridge, tower scoop looked good. Obs Buttress looked do-able with colder weather.

Basically high on the Ben I'm sure you'll get something. Glencoe and Bridge of Orchy looked pretty crap on the drive up-just not high enough.

The red burn descent was also really fast today and made things a bit easier on the way down.

hope that helps

mmmhumous on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to Withnail:

Thanks all, I'm presuming we'll be high up on't Ben for at least one of the days. Is anything still in on Aonach Mor (e.g. round the twins)?

For the Ben...Good Friday and Tower Scoop look like good options.

I'd love to do point five/indicator... but I'm not sure whether we're upto a grade V yet. We can handle short sections of vertical ice e.g. the 'grade 5' stuff at the Ice Factor, and outdoors we both comfotably lead/solo grade II and at least Severe, and second grade III and at least HVS.

What do folk reckon? Worth giving a V a go with our insturctror leading, or wait until next winter?
Milesy - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

Do you want to learn or be guided up classics? You said it's a course so that answers that.
hyperion on 21 Apr 2013 - cpc11-renf5-2-0-cust170.14-1.cable.virginmedia.com
In reply to mmmhumous:

Aye listen to Milesy, he really knows his stuff
Milesy - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

I know f*ck all. Just been following conditions as everyone should as I'm really wanting to get out for a route before it ends. Desperate to get good Friday done for a few years now. Hoping next week. I'm not psyched for rock at all yet.
mmmhumous on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Milesy:

We've paid for an instructor for two days... so it'll be a bit of a mix of the two really:

My partner's been ice climbing for ~20 years but is a bit timid on leads so wants to push his lead grade to III/IV, (with reassurance that ther's someone to fall back on for encouragment/ take over if he bottles it).

I've only got a handful of leads/solos under my belt, so just trying to get the most learning out of the two days and nib any bad habits in the bud. i.e. an accelerated ice appreniceship. I'm after being comfortable with my ability to place and assess ice anchors and what 'good ice' and 'bad ice' look like. At present it's along the lines of blue ice good - eg in a frozen bubblegum margarita, bubbly ice - bad e.g. s Laphroaig and lemonade on the rocks.
Milesy - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

Well you could spend a day on technique and a III and if your guide thinks you are both competent and confident then you could suggest something harder. I wouldn't sacrifice knowledge for a tick though
awwritetroops on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to hyperion:

as in hyperion records, pal?!
mmmhumous on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

Thanks all, just got back.

Pete from the Ice Factor did a Stirling job yet again... We had a play on the first night indoors and Ive seen a definite improvement in my stamina and axe placements since February, although my footwork is still a bit ropy, (I still seem determined to climb on my tiptoes).

Anyway managed 6 routes, ,most of which were done cleanly, and even managed to get ~ half way up the mixed route in the cave, which I was well chuffed with.

We took in the wonderful Scottish summer weather and did a bit of avalanche spotting on Creag Meagaidh, whilst seconding/top-roping/dogging The Pumpkin.

Then on day two we headed over to Corrie an t'Sneachda and did the crux pitch of Aladdin's Mirror direct on top rope (and yes, we still have all of our axes). Rounding up the trip with a lead on an unnamed gully to the right of the Goat Track Gully at about (III, 3/4).

I was a great confidence building trip and a fab end to my first winter season (unless of course stuff on the Cuillin is still in at the end of May). Im now happy I can look after myself on Grade III ground and get dragged up an easy IV/V next season.

Anyho, Im off to smear myself in deep-heat and get up against the radiator.
Andy Nisbet - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:

Always good to hear what folks got up to, after a thread asking about routes or conditions.
sleeplessjb - on 24 Apr 2013
In reply to Andy Nisbet: hehe
mmmhumous on 25 Apr 2013
Euge - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:
> (In reply to Andy Nisbet)
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hs4n9QU6VlE

Nice video... can't believe someone went to climb Aladdins Mirror Direct the same time as you... were they in your group?

isi_o - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:
Nice video - Pete said you'd put quite a lot of effort into getting some footage. Do you mind if we share it on the Ice Factor fb page?
JohnnyW - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:
Guys, just back on thread, is there much snow left on the CMD? Bringing a novice pal of mine up tomorrow for a winter day on Sat, so I thought up No3 and down the ridge. Been off the UK hills for a couple of weeks, so lost the feel for the conditions. What's the cornice like on 3 btw?
mmmhumous on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Euge:

Yep it was our instructor on the RHS (Pete). It woiuld have been a tad antisocial for someone to lead though

Pete led the pitch, and Jon was going to have a go at leading on Pete's gear placements, but ended up top-roping instead (Grade II to IV was a bit too big of a step up.
mmmhumous on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to isi_o:

Thanks Isi, feel free to link it where-ever

The filming wasn't too bad (pretty much just point and click), but the Stuff on the mirror was done whilst belaying, so most of the footage was of the sky/Richard's axes/a rock etc.

I've emailed the ice factor links to a couple of other vids too. (As well as the Scottish/ice factor ones, there are a couple of Welsh and English grade I-II/III routes featured on the Club's gallery page)



mmmhumous on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to JohnnyW:

Didn't do anything on the Ben in the end. Can't tell from the webcam:
http://www.visit-fortwilliam.co.uk/the-ben-nevis-webcam-fort-william-scotland... but we were told all the lower stuff had gone, and most of the buttresses had been stripped. Someone did Zero on tuesday though:


On Monday most of the cornices at Creag Meagaidh (N/NE facing @ ~1000m) were in the process of falling down, but it was chucking it down and blowing a gale in every direction at once!
isi_o - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to mmmhumous:
Brill, thanks Adam. Glad you guys had a good couple of days
AlH - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to JohnnyW: Plenty of fresh snow fallen on top of the older patches and extensive cover in Coire na Ciste. The CMD had mostly stripped back but there is a fresh blanket today and the long slope to the summit was still holding plenty of snow.
Pictures from above my house: http://alanhalewood.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/an-unexpected-day-off-and-more-fresh.html
JohnnyW - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to AlH:
Thanks Alan - With the forecast, it'll be a good day whatever eh!?
AlH - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to JohnnyW: http://www.sais.gov.uk/page_lochaber.asp and read the Observer's blog too.
JohnnyW - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to AlH:

Sacked the idea of a gully due to SAIS, and even Ledge route due to the time spent in No.5, so we just did the CMD, which was in splendid condition.
Must say I thought the SAIS slightly over-egged the pudding from what I saw, but better to be safe than sorry I suppose.......

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