/ UKC Winter Conditions Reports - Ben Nevis 12/01/17

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Mike Pescod - on 12 Jan 2017
Very cold and snowy weather has arrived in most places of the UK. In Fort William we have snow down to sea level and the tops are several degrees below zero. Combined with strong winds you'll need to wrap up warm if you go into the hills!

We have a covering of fresh snow but not a huge amount really. The wind has blown it onto east facing slopes and gullies and we have a general thin covering elsewhere. There was old snow in some places though and ice is forming fast again. Rob and Oliver climbed Green Gully on Ben Nevis and found good climbing even though it is quite lean. The snow ice is good to climb but not great for ice screws. There was just about rock protection but the cracks were quite icy.

The crags were not well rimed today so Caspar went for Thompson's Route instead of Gargoyle Wall. Thompson's Route is quite hard for a IV when there is no ice in the bottom chimney and there is not much protection either.

The classic ridges have some fresh snow on them but not much else so they qwill be slow going. The big easy gullies are mostly full and quite icy. There are a few climbs in the mid-grades to go for and once the crags rime up there will be good mixed climbing. Remember that crags facing the wind freeze first and get rimed up. The wind will blow from the north west tomorrow so there could be more rime on the rocks of most buttresses.

Elsewhere Kenny climbed Scabbard Chimney today and Curved Ridge was very nice too.

Cold but more calm weather is forecast for the weekend with a slow rise in the temperature. It should be worth getting out for a climb if you can get here.

Happy climbing.

Mike Pescod

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