/ NEWS - 2016/17 Scottish Winter Round-up

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UKC News - on 11 Apr 2017
Tom Ripley on The Overseer Direct, 3 kbThe winter of 2016/17 is not going to go down in history as a vintage year for Scottish winter climbing. The hills were lean and the thaws were severe, stripping back the meagre snow and ice to bony buttresses. Despite such conditions, hard mixed routes were climbed and first ascents made. This article summarises those new routes and hard ascents and, for the mortals amongst us, the lower grade routes which were in condition during this more unusual, and hopefully rare, winter. It is not a comprehensive list, more an overview, so feel free to comment on your routes of the winter in the forums.Read more
Martin McKenna - UKC - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:

Best route of my season was a sport route at Dumby.
olddirtydoggy - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:

We got sick of hacking through slush on 2 trips up. The problem for most of us is the North is a long drive away and conditions were so fragile that it was hard to strike lucky unless you're local'ish.
Steve Perry - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> The problem for most of us is the North is a long drive away and conditions were so fragile that it was hard to strike lucky unless you're local'ish.

Pretty hard to strike lucky being local also, unless you were gonna climb high on the Ben, which we didn't want to.
Pina - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

The 'North' is pretty subjective.... As said above, even being Local-ish meant it was hard to get things right. The trick to this year seemed flexi-time and clever use of holidays as the decent days managed to always be weekdays.
In reply to Martin McKenna - UKC:

Which one Martin, don't leave us hanging
Stuart the postie - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:

A heartfelt written article, well done.

For me, this season was dominated by SE winds, bringing frequent temperature inversions, little precipitation, leading to dry, aeriated turf!

Having said that, it forced me to drive more than 2.5hrs, walk for more and think about the venue, aspect, more than the individual routes themselves! A very timely, published book (The Book) also provided a good point of reference, when a little outside comfort zone/knowledge!!

Now, will Easter weekend bring about the definative last route of season, on snowed up rock....?

Regards

Stuart
Nath93 - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:

A new (unrecorded?) route in the Cuillin, always good fun not knowing whats coming next. And then having to back off Virgo on Bla Bheinn the next day due to running out of time, such a quality line up a big bit of cliff. All washed away into the sea overnight!!

Following my nose up Gully E on Sgurr Thearlaich, not knowing if it had been climbed direct before but making it to the ridge with amazing views all round after a brilliant pitch of mixed gabbro.


Skye really deserves so much more attention than it gets.
Michael Gordon - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:

A nice summary of the Scottish Winter blog.
michaelb1 - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:
A nice write up. A worse than usual winter, but better than 2013/2014? and its probably not over on the Ben if anyone is still bothered. For me this was going to be the year I finally conquered Comb Gully, but that didn't happen due to weather, work, injury and all that so instead we had to settle on Fawlty Towers which was still a great day out.
LakesWinter on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to michaelb1:

No way better than 2013-14 - that winter had some really good conditions available in specific locations, e.g. Torridon and some unusual ice formed.
Michael Gordon - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to michaelb1:

Yes, definitely better than 2013/14 which seemed to be constant storms Jan-March! At least you could get out this time.
Stuart the postie - on 11 Apr 2017
In reply to LakesWinter:
Your post got me thinking........2012/13 was THE season, truly awesome!!

In contrast, 2013/14 by my standards, was quite poor, though I'm sure others were more successful?

This past season was very difficult to predict prime conditions, frustrating for the most part! I was able to commit considerable time, reliable partners, days off mid week and a leaniant wife (thanks)! Many planned days out, were still cancelled in advance.

As stated above previously, SE winds dominated, with interest a programme on TV, also contributed these factors for open seas around the Polar Cap!!

Then again, I'd never witnessed the lower tier on Beinn an Lochain, in winter conditions, during 6 or more previous visits.......

Stuart
Post edited at 23:23
Andy Nisbet - on 12 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:

Sarah Sigley, who's role was crucial in nursing the old guys through the deep snow, seems to have been wiped from the ascent of Carry on Nurse. Accidentally I hope.
Michael Gordon - on 12 Apr 2017
In reply to Stuart the postie:

> Your post got me thinking........2012/13 was THE season, truly awesome!!

Agreed! My best ever season, immediately followed by my worst.
Martin McKenna - UKC - on 12 Apr 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

Thanks for pointing that out Andy. I've added Sarah as being there for the first ascent now. You definitely can't forget the trail breaker!
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PaulTclimbing - on 12 Apr 2017
In reply to UKC News:
Two best routes were. Pats right facing corner 3/4 ( lovely sporty climb) and
Alligin 4 (more serious/exciting , but with protection if you hunt it out) out of
Two. These routes are rarely done but probs in condition regular.
Pen y fan. The crag that keeps on giving.
Post edited at 09:39

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