/ NW Conditions
Cuillin look great for mixed & short ice but fancy a trip away for longer pure ice without powder swimming.
May even have to Ben it for the day.......human beings, ugh!
Since Tuesday maybe 6" of wet snow had fallen and stuck to a lot of the ice, so there was a cruddy layer to clear through. There is good ice underneath if you can be bothered digging though...lots of good ice.
The snowpack was fine on lower level aspects up to the coire floor (can't remember the height off the top of my head), but got increasingly poor as height was gained. We went a little of the way up George before deciding against it given the poor layers in the snowpack were increasing with height. Avalanche/heavy spindrift debris at the bottom of most of the width of the coire from the exit slopes also put us off. I know some guys topped out on Poachers and indeed said the exit slopes were dodgy, and they pitched down The Way Up and again commented it was weak and very poorly bonded.
We then went along to the Pinnacles at the west end of the ridge and had good snow on the ascent but the ridge itself was covered in 6" of unconsolidated snow which required cleaning in the technical bits so we bailed from the ridge as well...down another dodgy slope.
So we thought the snowpack was rubbish basically! Plenty of teams out though, Poachers had 3 or 4 teams on it, Umbrella 2 and Salmon Leap 1 (at least)...and no one seems to have caused a slide.
It may well have consolidated enough by now, or you could retreat down the ice from Poachers pretty easily currently, there was an ice thread at the bottom of the 3rd pitch which would take you to the cave which I think would take you to the ground on 60s. There was plenty of ice and I'm sure you'll be able to find stuff to climb safely.
Heading to the Ben tomorrow instead of back up there, but quite possibly because we can't face the drive a third time in the space of a week from Edinburgh!
Logic points to staying at home & finding as much ice as possible,.
I was over Maol Cheann Dearg/Fuar Tholl way today. THere has been about 6 inches of fresh powder above 600 metres. DEposits are much deeper on east/north-east aspects. Noticeably more snow to the east of Glen Carron
Can't complain...conditions as you get them...good day
Photos from yesterday now at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.344915115609042.1073741830.124310161002873&type=3
Bitterly cold with plenty of ice and not much fresh snow. What fresh snow there was being blown around with pockets of windslab and crusty powder on the scarp slopes but seemed OK to climb!
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