/ When is winter?
I've got a few days holiday left and was thinking about saving them for a long weekend in Scotland doing some grade 2 and maybe 3 gullys.
However is anywhere going to be in condition by the mid of december, or am I being overly hopefull?
N.B I know the weather is well out of sorts these days but in gerneral years.
Last season and two seasons ago I booked the exact same week (just before Xmas) and the Lakes were in Condition momentarily and then we moved up to scotland and got 2 days in there. So this year that would be w/c 17th.
Hmmm, if Scotland is out does the Pyranees or Alps come in by Dec?
You've got every chance of getting some good routes done at that time - anybody who suggests otherwise clearly knows little about Scottish winter. You do however need to be a little bit flexible as gullies might not be in optimum condition and ridges/buttresses might represent a better bet.
Gullys weren't a definete, just I assumed would be easier considering I've only done a week and there wasn't a lot of snow in Feb!
Gullies are easier when they're well built-up and consolidated - this isn't always the case early season. So sometimes they have harder steps than the grade would suggest or are even impassable. They're also not a bundle of laughs when they're filled with loose, avalanche-prone snow.
I wouldn't write them off; I've done some excellent gully-routes in good conditions at that time of year. But equally I wouldn't subscribe to the widespread fallacy that beginner winter climbing equals gully-bashing.
Well there was def snow! So you never know I might be able to get up for a couple days if the weather gods are smiling on me.
It's just a pain enjoying the winter fun so much last time and living in Devon!
In my experience, there is normally lots of snow in December, which all melts the day before we arrive. This year that's not until 27th, so you should be fine :-)
Jacob's Ladder going to the right is a grade I but was closer to II/III I reckon on the harder line to the right we took and it had lot of small icey pitches in the lower section which were nice.
The upper section was iced up slabs and rock with powder snow sitting on top of everything which there was little purchase in.
In order to top out I had to hook and do some awkward mantelling over powder covered boulders.
It was good fun but certainly wasn't classical snow gully terrain at the time.
Well I think I might risk booking a couple days of work then.
Will post up closer to the time to find a partner!
Has winter finished? When is summer?
Central Cairngorms are your best bet early season, for mixed climbing. In the good old days (1980s) we used to start there in November, move around with the conditions, and finish up in the high Ben Nevis gulleys in May.
However, there always seemed to be a bit of a hole around Xmas with driving rain and blanket thaw, I hardly ever remember doing anything interesting in the week between Santa and New Year, and not just because of hangovers!
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