/ Winter Conditions on Ben Nevis
Plenty of snow above 800 metres all the way through into to May looking at the forecasts! Good ski touring on the Cairngorm plateau if the visibility would improve. As for winter climbing I'm sure all the high level rock routes and gullies will have plenty of deep soft snow!!!
Not sure about that - most guides and instructors I know are in the Alps right now. This is pretty much "off-season" for them.
I'd agree that hardly anyone has been getting out with the tools, but this doesnt quite equate to there being nothing to do. I had a good day's mixed climbing in Sneachda last Monday, although it was slightly surreal getting a blue-sky day in that Corrie all to ourselves!
I think the catastrophic thaw in March and the really rather nice early-season rock-climbing available made a lot of people switch headspace to "rock-mode" earlier than usual. Certainly amongst many people that I know the return of the snow seems to have been met more by resentment rather than any sense of opportunity.
The opportunities are definitely there, but for once there is no internet noise to follow. I rather like this.
Judging by Mike Pescod's blog http://www.abacusmountaineering.com/currentconditions.html as of yesterday there's still winter on the Ben, don't expect it to be in top nick though.
Three of us did Upper Tower Cascade on Saturday. Another team was on Tower Scoop. Deep snow so hard going.
Climbed Hidden Chimney in Coire an t-Sneachda on Friday. Had the place to ourselves.
Deep snow right down to corrie floor. No axe placements at all, far too soft - all hooking as turf not frozen either, on the plus side cracks for gear very easy to find. Small avalanches sliding down Jacobs Ladder on a regular basis. Some big cornices about.
hot aches during the climb and full on blizzard on the plateau. Didn't see that when I was climbing in shorts and T-shirt in Glen Nevis last month!!!
Did Gardyloo on Sat - Lots of very deep, new snow. Will be good if it consolidates and freezes. The exit from the tunnel was quite challenging, and my second couldn't make the move, so thanks to the 3 lads who helped me haul him up!
Really thinking of another go on the Ben this weekend, but there's a fair bit of fresh snow is there not? Anyone been out, or planning to over the next day or so?
Would appreciate some recent info. As I said above, there was an awful lot of fresh stuff last weekend, and whilst I'm expecting it to have consolidated to an extent, I'm not sure the freeze/thaw has been extensive.
Was there on Sunday and Monday.
Plenty of snow but not consolidated.
It's not really that cold when you take out the wind chill factor therefore nothing is that frozen. Towards and along the summit it is frozen as to be expected with height.
There's some more snow this week but periods of warm-ish with sleet and rain
Thanks. Yeah, pretty much what I experienced Sat. Just need a decent frosty night Friday. Winds are moving Northerly again, so you never know....
Mmm, although the 528 line is well over us, it just bodes for more snow I think, so it's unlikely to be consolidated methinks. Could just be a trudge.
I was in Coire Na Ciste today with the skis. There is a fair bit of fresh snow in there, but I think there are winter routes that would be doable other than the easy gullies.
Glovers Chimney had some ice at the bottom of it. The whole icefall hasn't formed, but I reckon most folk climb the easier right hand side of it anyway. There's ice on it - how good, I don't know, but since the rest of the route is a snow plod/swim and a short mixed section, it would probably be fine. Raeburns easy route had ice on it. Number 2 Gully is banked up to grade I.
Number 3 Gully Buttress also looked like it would be OK. Number 3 Gully itself is solid neve at the top. North Gully on Creag Coire Na Ciste is quite banked up, but there is a short ice pitch on it.
Whatever you do, you should expect some wading above 800m!
Thanks very much Scott. Just got to watch MWIS tonight then, and make a decision......
Anyone know how much fresh snow has fallen on the ben over the last day or two?
Wondering if there is much avalanche risk in the gully's?.
Arrghhh!! Make it end - want summer!
Very confusing - we appear to have had summer in March!
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