/ NW Conditions

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Mike Lates - on 20 Mar 2013
Been out of the loop a few days. How much powder fell in Torridon etc over the w/e? Heard a team bailed off Poachers Sat but nothing else.
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!
bigdelboy - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Lates: I was up at Torridon on Saturday, unfortunately not climbing , but no new snow fell saturday or sunday up to around lunchtime when we left, in fact it was nice and sunny! The snow line was probably around 750m at a guess. It looked good though. I wished I was up on the tops!! Dont know if any more snow has come down since mind you.
James Dunn - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Lates: We decided we didn't fancy Salmon Leap with one half rope and 3 people on Saturday, there was a huge difference to when we had been in there on Tuesday.

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!
Mike Lates - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to James Dunn: Magic cheers James. Noted all the observations & suggestions. Spoilt for choice all round just now.
Logic points to staying at home & finding as much ice as possible,.
In reply to Mike Lates:
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
torridon.neil - on 20 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:
Can't complain...conditions as you get them...good day
Ron Walker - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Mike Lates:
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!
MrRiley - on 22 Mar 2013
Has anyone been into Beinn Bhan recently or seen what the ice falls on the north side of Sgurr na Feartaig are looking like? I'm thinking that Silver Tear, Mad Hatters etc would be formed but I'm intrigued as to how much powder is blowing around in there? Thanks in advance!
stopgoman - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to MrRiley: Did March Hares Gully on Sunday with a thin and tricky access pitch. Silver Tear had a good build up with the upper ice column easily visible from the coire.
Mike Lates - on 23 Mar 2013
In reply to Ron Walker: Ow, painfully jealous. M

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