/ UKC/UKH Winter Conditions Report - Ben Nevis 16th January 2014

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Mike Pescod - on 16 Jan 2014
In previous winters we have had too many thaws that stripped back the snow and did not allow ice to build at all. This winter seems determined not to give us a proper thaw for weeks at a time! The weather yesterday was not as wet as forecast but it was warm enough to make the snow mostly all wet. It certainly triggered a few big avalanches again.

Today the snow was very stable in the cooler conditions. Despite some stars being out last night and a wee frost at sea level the snow did not freeze completely. There is still soft and crusty snow in the coires and gullies of Ben Nevis. I was hoping for a day in crunchy hard snow but it was not as good as expected. Water was running down the ice and it seemed to be above freezing at 1000m.

However, ice has been forming and we have an amazing cover of snow. There is ice on The Shroud and Waterfall Gully has formed again. The Curtain is complete but too thin for secure climbing and it's the same on other routes such as The Chute. Gully climbs such as Green Gully and Point Five Gully might be quite nice now but it's hard to say - I think they might be a bit soft still. The higher crags are rimed up. There were people climbing SW Ridge of Douglas Boulder, Tower Ridge, Ledge Route and something on South Trident Buttress. A hard freeze would be nice now.

Mike Pescod
Busby on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to Mike Pescod:

Cheers for that Mike, planning on pottering about down Glencoe way this weekend so every little bit of info helps.

At the risk of seeming ungrateful, what do you reckon the snowline was sitting at?
Mike Pescod - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to Busby:

There's good snow cover from just below the CIC Hut. So the snow line must be about 600m to 650m or so.

Withnail - on 17 Jan 2014
In reply to Mike Pescod:

Hi mike,

Was there any ice on the slab traverse of route 2 direct by any chance?


Mike Pescod - on 19 Jan 2014
In reply to Withnail:

There is snow and some ice on the big traverse on Route Two. There is little ice on the Direct start.

Withnail - on 22 Jan 2014
In reply to Mike Pescod:



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