/ When is winter?

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fire_munki on 20 Jul 2012
Yes this does sound very random!
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.
stonemaster - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki: You'll be lucky....:) Good luck anyway.
Alan Dixon - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:

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.

Al
fire_munki on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:
Hmmm, if Scotland is out does the Pyranees or Alps come in by Dec?
Jamie B - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:

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.
fire_munki on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:
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!
Jamie B - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:

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.
AlH - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki: Its been a bit random over the past few years. If you can be bothered my blog archive (scroll down its on the right) can be used to look at posts of a Lochaber local back to 2008. http://alanhalewood.blogspot.co.uk/
fire_munki on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to AlH:
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!
Simon Caldwell - on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:
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 :-)
prog99 on 20 Jul 2012
Milesy - on 20 Jul 2012
I done a leanish Jacob's Ladder on the 12th of December while my friend joined a busy queue on Hidden Chimney.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wz6mUaImey4/Tv83vWxOjyI/AAAAAAAAD2g/6vwvLxjLplA/s1600/P1030742.JPG

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.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-aiGVMf-yzcE/Tv8111FCYwI/AAAAAAAAD0o/Bx229mFIZAY/s1600/P1030767-2.JPG

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.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-B-RQJVgJ_0I/Tv80gvGGxcI/AAAAAAAAD0U/WD5z8wQzwlI/s1600/P1030767-4.JPG

It was good fun but certainly wasn't classical snow gully terrain at the time.
fire_munki on 20 Jul 2012
In reply to fire_munki:
Well I think I might risk booking a couple days of work then.
Will post up closer to the time to find a partner!
Jonny Tee 69 - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to fire_munki:

Has winter finished? When is summer?
Erstwhile on 09 Aug 2012
In reply to fire_munki:

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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