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.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Winter is far from over in the Outdoor Capital of the UK. The daffodils are flowering, the sunshine is warm in the glens and the clocks have sprung forward to summer time but fresh snow fell down to 600m and the freezing level will stay at 500m or lower this week.

We had a day of rain and strong winds yesterday, melting back the 40cm of fresh snow we had at the end of last week. Last night and today fresh snow fell down to 600m and it will be very cold tonight. Instead of melting away, the ice high on Ben Nevis has been building. Thaw freeze cycles, strong winds and snow fall all add up to fatter ice.

The classic ice climbs of Zero Gully, Orion Direct, Hadrian's Wall Direct, Sickle, Point Five Gully, Indicator Wall, Psychedelic Wall, Smith's Route and many others have all been climbed. We also have the possibility if high pressure building from the end of the week over the Easter weekend. Traditionally, Easter is the best time for ice climbing on Ben Nevis and it looks like this might well be the case this year.

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