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, 19 January 2015

As a member of British Mountain Guides I do CPD training days to keep my qualification current and valid. Today I spent an excellent day with fellow BMG member Mark Diggins of SAIS looking at current thinking in avalanche prediction, reporting and avoidance. We spent as short a time as possible indoors because we were all keen to get outside into the sunshine and beautiful weather. We took the gondola at Nevis Range and walked around Nid Ridge digging, probing and assessing. The snow has settled down quite quickly since the storms brought it last week. However with a steep temperature gradient there is some evidence of faceting in the snow crystals which is a bad sign for stability. If you'd like to learn more about avalanches come along to the Avalanche Workshops we run at the Fort William Mountain Festival.

The cold weather has also formed lots of ice on Ben Nevis. There were three teams climbing Point Five Gully and another one on Hadrian's Wall Direct. The Curtain was climbed today and Gemini has also reportedly seen an ascent recently. Cold weather all week is forecast with a little fresh snow - things are looking good!

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