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, 18 January 2015

After a very stormy and snowy week, sheltered parts of the hills were cover in deep snow this weekend. A few people were out climbing buttresses and ridges in the beautiful weather and a couple of people got caught out in the deep snow. Two guys found the Eastern Traverse of Tower Ridge just as it got dark and spent a cold night under the stars before being picked up by Rescue 147 this morning. Tower Ridge is never a good choice for your first winter route and especially so in the current heavy snow cover. However the guys were well prepared and survived the night cold but fine.

Scott, Gary and Angus stayed at low level on the SW Ribs of Meall an t'Suidhe yesterday and the Pink Rib of Beinn a'Chrulaiste today. With snow cover and ice down to sea level you don't need to go far for winter climbing. Western Rib on Aonach Mor is also reported to be good fun.

I decided that skiing was the best option on Saturday. The snow cover at Nevis Range is excellent and the groomer drivers have done a great job of filling in any gaps so that the front of the ski area has some very good fun skiing. We even had clouds down in the glens with sunshine on top! It will remain cold this week so the snow will stay soft and mobile in the wind. Buttresses might be the better option for a while but it is so cold that low level ice falls will form quickly so look out for these.

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