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.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Andreas is keen to do some leading so we went up the gondola at Nevis Range and walked up to the top of the crags on the East Face. The chairlift is nearly fixed after it was derailed in the last storm but it was not quite ready to run today so we walked all the way up soft snow with an icy crust in places. The crag was well sheltered from the wind and there was a small soft cornice on the older big cornice with a band of fresh soft snow underneath.

We abseiled in to Easy Gully from a snow bollard which was easy to make in the soft snow and plenty strong enough. The walk across to Central Buttress was not too spooky and the climbing on Morwind was very nice. There is lots of soft snow and there is also a bit of ice in the lowest chimney which was fun to climb (but a bit harder than the normal route which avoids this on the left). The turf was very usable and the cracks are full of ice - it helps to know where to start digging to find protection! Andreas did a fine job of leading the third pitch which has a tricky step into a groove. It was raining on the top (1200m) when we walked back down. It was very pleasant climbing but it would be so much nicer if it froze properly!

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