/ Aonach Eagach Conditions

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Peris Roberts - on 06 Dec 2012
Has anyone been onto the ridge in the last few days?

was looking for a conditions update for sunday.
JamesRoddie - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Peris Roberts:

Not been up there but heavy snow here in Glencoe on sunday night, monday and then all of last night. The hills are looking pretty plastered.
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Peris Roberts:
Out of date but a couple of nice photos from last Saturday
http://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/author.html?id=102187
Tim Clarke - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Peris Roberts: Twas I. Conditions were good for a ridge at this time of year. Snow is still soft but a good covering as you can see. This makes for a great day out as it hides the rock and has your wits about you to overcome the central section of pillars up and down. Weather is looking mince for the next few days though it seems. We were blessed with good weather despite the forecast the wind held off and the skies were blue-ish as you can see. Fascinated at the 5 hours the guide book says. They must have jogged it. No wonder people get benighted if they only allow five hours.
Gael Force - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Clarke: I did it on New Years day a few years ago with a severe headache, after camping near the starship enterprise, and then enjoying the celebrations until 5 am.
We took five hours in good winter conditions and weather, which we regarded as slow, due to mild hallucinations en route, we didn't have a rope, and the time may be given for those who use a rope.
I think you should rephrase the last line of your post to 'no wonder people get benighted if they take more than five hours...'
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Clarke:
We also took much longer than 5 hours, in similar looking conditions. I suspect that it's a lot quicker with good neve rather than soft powder.
Gael Force - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Toreador: Didnt know you could get bad neve or anything other than soft powder. Doesn't really affect the time on a ridge like this, having done it in bot a few times, I suspect both you and the OP used a rope too much, hence you took longer than guidebook time.
moppy - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force: You were very slow. I did it in 2hrs 12mins
Michael Gordon - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force:

Try it this weekend and you may take a bit longer?
Simon Caldwell - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force:
Used the rope to protect the pinnacles, and then abseil down a steep biut shortly afterwards.

I think the main thing slowing us down was there were 5 of us and we kept waiting for each other, the way you do when not in a hurry. The weather was good (so lots of photo stops) and we got to the final summit before dark :-)
Jamie B - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force:

> Didnt know you could get bad neve or anything other than soft powder. Doesn't really affect the time on a ridge like this, having done it in both a few times

Disagree; "scratchy" conditions will always make it slower. Good neve is the ideal, but rarer than one might like.

> I suspect both you and the OP used a rope too much, hence you took longer than guidebook time.

Some people like to use a rope, as it makes them feel safer. Don't think this neccessarily equates to "too much"

What is this "guidebook time"? I've never seen it stated or suggested. Car-to-car? End-to-end?

Tim Chappell - on 06 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force:

I once did the Skye ridge in about eleven times the guidebook time! To make it worse, I didn't even apologise!
Gael Force - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Jamie Bankhead: As I said it didn't make much difference to me, but if you are slower in these conditions thats fine, I found heavy snow covered the tricky bits making it easier.
My point was that much over 5-6 hours is a slow time, and therefore I thought Toreador etc were using the rope, which he has confirmed he was with 5 people and stopping for photos, so taking his time enjoying a good day, and obviously then a slow time.

If your taking much over 5 hours suggest you keep off the pies!

A quote from my SMC guide says,'5-8 hours seems fairly typical in good conditions for an average party. Where a competent party might quite happily solo. many would prefer to rope up and should not be embarrassed to do so.'

Nothing wrong with using the rope, but obviously if you do you will be much slower, which was my original point.
Gael Force - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Tim Chappell I am embarrassed to say I have never done it, although I've done a lot of rock climbing there.
Simon Caldwell - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force:
I've just checked my report and it took us about 12 hours :-)
http://climbing.me.uk/Glencoe0910/Aonach%20Eagach/index.html
Gael Force - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Toreador: The photos are very good, I can see you used the rope quite early on the tricky slab at photo 783, not easy to go quick in a group of 5 of mixed abilities. It looks quite a social occasion!
What camera did you use by the way, my Sony keeps over exposing in bright snow whatever I set it at?
Simon Caldwell - on 07 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force:
I think 4 of us soloed down that but, the 5th was more sensible :-)
Despite being good weather, and during the Xmas/New Year holiday, we were the only people doing the traverse that day, so no incentive to go any quicker. Downside is that we were breaking trail all the way.

It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ2 (quite old - I think they're up to about TZ25 now). There's a 'snow' setting which is mostly pretty good.
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Tim Clarke - on 09 Dec 2012
In reply to Gael Force: so you honestly did it in 5 hours car to car?

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