Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Monday, 3 November 2014

It is always interesting trying to remember what snow fall came and when it fell in previous Autumns. I remember warm dry Novembers, bitter cold Decembers, winter climbing in early October, no snow to speak of at all until February. It is always very variable but we still try to make predictions about the winter from what happens now. These pictures are from last Autumn. The one above and one below are from November 18th or so and the picture of Number Four Gully at the bottom is from December. Do they show any hint of the stunning volume of snow that fell in the winter? 

Today we had a decent bit of snow falling on the hills above 900m and tomorrow will be cold again. Temperatures on the hills will be below freezing for a couple of days to come in fact. Will the ground cool down enough before the snow comes? Will the snow insulate the ground before it has frozen properly? Will there be enough water in the drainage lines to form ice? These are some of the factors that go towards the making of a good winter along with the weather we get during the winter. Winter climbing is a great guessing game but don't waste too much time trying to work it out. Give it your best guess and get stuck in! You'll always have an adventure.

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