/ UKC Winter Conditions report. Skye November 26th

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Mike Lates - on 26 Nov 2013
Sadly too much damage for any 2 axe fun by the time I got out on Saturday. There clearly had been a lot of ice in Coire a Bhasteir and a good depth of snow in the lee of the strong cold NW winds last week. The drifting left a lot of snow in Coruisk and noticeably more on the Tourist Route than the W Ridge of Gillean.
Ghreadaidh on Sunday was a great day out with not a breath of wind all day. Crampons needed to reach the summit but soon removed beyond the South top where the aspect changed. Felt very alpine with plenty of concentration needed and pretty slow going.
Yesterday started fine but the clouds rolled in around lunch. Good snow stomp up to Bruach na Frithe but crampons not (quite) needed. Others had needed them on the NW Ridge of BnF.
Thawing still today and tomorrow but strong winds on the back of the cold front on Thursday may lay down some more.
All this might sound over-optimistic but the Cuillin really needs lots of weather of all types. No rain is disasterous; too dry. Too cold and the powder blows off. All the best ice & mixed conditions I've seen have come off the back of major storms.
I've put a couple of shots into my UKC gallery; one to show the cover on different sides of the crest and one of Gillean showing the lines I'm most hopeful for in the coming weeks. More shots on the blog- http://skyeguides.co.uk/blog/
BnB - on 26 Nov 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:

Thanks Mike. We're visiting in mid December and Nathan says he is going to try to make it up at the same time. I'm praying it'll be half as good as last winter. Nothing doing as yet in Wales or the Lakes. Everyone is dying to break the tools out. Hope you get some great conditions in the meantime. Julian.
Andrew Barker - on 27 Nov 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:

Thanks for the report and photos as always. Unfortunately the Slig webcam seems to be broken again. My dad and I are hoping to have a few days on Skye in December and your photo of the south face of SnG looks good.
Mike Lates - on 27 Nov 2013
In reply to Andrew Barker:
Is it completely defunct? I was tempted to climb up and adjust the angle to show black instead of red Cuillin but won't bother if knackered. I tried contacting the webcam co but with no joy. Could just be the Slig has turned off the power while closed. Look up Stuart Ashton's webcam from Bla Bheinn B&B in Glen Drynoch which looks at N end. Not high res but gives an idea. Don't have the link sorry.
South face of Gillean is the one to watch but only possible from elsewhere on the Ridge;-) http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=231083
Andrew Barker - on 30 Nov 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:

The camera seemed to have been turned to face the ridge but the image wasn't being updated. It now appears to be offline. Thanks for the info on the alternative webcam.

Let's hope next weekend's projected northerly provides some good snow.
Mike Lates - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to Andrew Barker:

Friday looks like the day to play this week. Massive storms with loads a snow Wed & Thurs then warming up far too much again for whole of next week. Unlikely that White Dreams will have built up since that last picture was taken so probably aiming for something mixed. Snorkel packed ;-)
BnB - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:
Have you been on the mainland recently, Mike? Looks like Skye will be bare for my visit in a fortnight. New B3s broken in, new cramps on the Christmas list (and my wife says I can open these early if anything is in) but nowhere to go. Sounds like I'll be scratching around grade 1 gullies above Cluanie Inn with the kids.
Post edited at 09:30
Nath93 - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to BnB:
Don't be so sure fella, always something to do. Sgurr Thearlaich comes in pretty quick and there's a few lines there at our grades, or just a bit of alpine day up on the ridge.
Post edited at 15:49
BnB - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to Nath93: Matey, there will be good times and heart-stopping moments whatever the weather. As you say, an alpine day on the ridge can't be beat. See you there, fella.

Nath93 - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to BnB: Absolutely, can't wait to get back up on the ridge again. Been way too long !
Mike Lates - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to BnB: > Have you been on the mainland recently, Mike?

Que? No compronda~? WO ist dis Mainland thingy? AKA land of powder schwimmin mit die Crowding?

Is your body ready to carry all these toys? White down to 2,300ft tonight but suspect its all fresh right to the tops. Let you know tomorrow


BnB - on 03 Dec 2013
In reply to Mike Lates: I'm hauling Katherine's Christmas decorations in an Alpine Attack all the way up th'moor each night like Sly Stallone in Rocky 4. I'm wrestling angry turkeys on th'farm behind yon barn. Bivvied on the dry stone wall wi' nowt but a knife and fork for a belay. I'm not just ready. I'm from Yorkshire.

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Mike Lates - on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to BnB:

Clach Glas was good value today; no cramps on ascent (just) but for sure on descent. Gusts only bad on a couple of exposed spots.
Starting from a clean slate on snow front so def mixed not ice on Friday.

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