/ Backpacking in a week's time. Winter gear needed?
I hear talk of dumps of snow recently. Is there going to be any need for an axe and/or crampons? I would rather not carry them due to weight but if needs must etc.
I will bung them in the car but its often hard to judge whether one will need them up high, particularly when I will be ascending slopes of varying aspects. This is supposed to be late May. I was thinking of a pair of shorts and a sunhat!
So, have people been in the hills recently who can assist?
I don't think recent trips into the hill are relevent, it's what's going to happen that counts and the met office are predicting snowfall at high level.
But they were predicting heavy rainstorms and thunderstorms here in the south east today. It's actually been sunny and warm out of the wind all day, although the wind is strong.
Spreading the love as usual.
Take poles and lightweight crampons, but any hard snow will be pretty much avoidable wont it?
Exactly right-- and it's been a big winter for snow, it's never got very warm since, and it's turning cold again right now. So you have every chance of running into unavoidable old hard snow/ ice. This can happen in July, never mind May. Take the kit then you don't have to worry about it, would be my advice. In fact if you've got the kit you can design your ascent route around as many gully-strips of ice as you can find. On a warm, sunny day, hacking up a hard old gully is an absolutely brilliant feeling. I love it when you get your shadow on the snow behind you just as you're topping out. A real Alpine moment. But only available if you pack the axe and the crampons!
Do you know, you've convinced me! Seek out the gullies rather than avoid.
I'll just have to carry less of something else.
It's been a long standing quest of mine to get my backpacking rucksack to be light enough that I can carry it over the tops. In the long run the fact that I don't ever have to retrace my steps is fantastic. Bring it on!
Surely you wouldn't take axe and crampons in July?
If the objective is lightweight backpacking I would be more inclined to leave the 2 kg of winter gear in the car, try to choose routes that avoids old hard snow but be prepared to find another way if faced with unavoidable patches.
Second that, Tim's reply did strike me as a little strange!
Decisions decisions. Um. Carrying heavy extras is all well and good sitting on my sofa but rucksacks are heavy. Light it is then. Let the sun shine...
> Surely you wouldn't take axe and crampons in July?
I've been in a situation, in July, where I wished I had axe and crampons. I was contouring around the north side of the Fannaichs to avoid a reascent, and I faced a succession of gully-beds which were full of old hard snow. Being young and foolish at the time, I just tried to skip across them instead of going round. I soon wished I hadn't.
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