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, 15 December 2014

Yesterday was warm and very wet in the morning with rain on the summits but by the afternoon the temperature had started to drop, the clouds cleared a little and a few snow showers put some snow down on the hills again. We took our group of students from Welbeck College to the Ice Factor where we did some ice climbing, dry tooling and abseiling. This is a great facility and the day was a very useful training opportunity for the students.

Today was much brighter and in fact turned out better than forecast. Fresh snow over night down to 400m above sea level and much colder temperature made The Zig Zags on Gearr Aonach very good fun. There is quite a bit of the old snow on the route as well as the new snow and from 700m and above the old snow was firming up very well.

We walked back along the ridge and dropped in to Coire nan Lochan down a nice wee gully where we did some ice axe arrest practice on the way down. There were a few people climbing on Stob Coire nan Lochan which looked very nice. The rocks were mostly quite white and gullies quite full of snow. I don't know if the turf is well frozen (I guess it is only half way there() but the rest of this week looks very cold so we might be in luck at the weekend.

Ice has been forming on some of the rocks in the coire and there are large smears of ice on the wee crags on the side of Gearr Aonach. Looks like we'll have a nice day tomorrow for Ben Nevis to finish our four days of mountaineering.

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