Monday, 26 January 2009

Hell's Lum

Today Martin and I headed over to Hell's Lum to see what ice was around. The crag is plastered in ice with most lines climbable. We climbed the Chancer which even had a ice piller to climb as a direct start which was superb. I thought the crux pitch was as hard as anything on Gemini (Ben Nevis VI,6), but offered amazing steep ice climbing. We then went to look at Cascade on stag rocks. This was running with water by midday so we came back across and went up Auld Nick as a quick way out.

There were teams on the Sneer, Kiwi Gully, early on Cascade and another party follow us up the Chancer. Greg and Euan went across to Carn Etchachan and climbed Nathrach Dubh which Greg said was excellent and worth a trip for.

In Sneachda teams had climbed Red Gully saying it was free from excessive snow, Patey's route and the Genie. Many lines looked climbable, but there are pockets of slab around that need care.

Friday, 23 January 2009


Young Greg has been out in Rukan this week and by the sound of it having a great time in some good conditions. He and Ken have been climbing both ice and mixed route. The most notable being the WI7 Lipton and an M10. Here are some pictures to wet the appetite of those heading out this year. For more in depth reports see Greg's blog.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Northern Corries

Today I was out in Sneachda with Martin. After a lazy start we climbed most of No Blue Skies on the mess of pottage, stopping 15/20m short of the top when time was getting on and we had both left are head torches in are rucksacks at the bottom (school boy error). There was a lot of snow on the route which made the going slow and protection more of an excavation to find. The snow was a bit of a mixed bag as far as its usefulness. There was ice in many of the cracks and the turf was excellent.

Many other people were in the corrie today. A number of teams climbed Hidden Chimney Direct and a team climbed the Seam. The approach up to the mess of pottage had consolidated a little making for a straight forward approach today. There was more snow being transported again today on an increasing wind. Moisture was in the air on cold wind which was also causing some icing trough the day. Things appear to be a little more stable than at the beginning of the week.

Sorry the picture is a bit lame but we both left are cameras and Martin is not that used to his phone yet.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Stuck training!!

I have been stuck training in the wall today after my arranged partner was put off by the forecast for the day. There has been more snow falling over the last few days making getting out that little more demanding. Folks have been climbing in the corries, but picking there routes carefully. hopefully things will calm down towards the end of the week, but at least the skiing conditions will be improving.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Winter Skills

Today I was out working for the EICA:Ratho on a winter skills day. Tom, Kevin and Ailsa are all pretty new to the winter game and wnated the chance to get their teeth into it. We were up in the corie cas area looking at using the boot, Cramponing and ice axe work. All had a good day in nice but windy weather.

There was alot of snow being moved around today on a very strong southerly wind. As we were leaving the bad weather that was forecast was moving in quickly. There was alot of heavy snow falling in the Drummochter Pass on the way back to Edinburgh, so much so that the road markings had been covered. Take care if heading and check the forecasts.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Gorms update

I have been at the lodge for the last couple of days on an induction. I was based at the lodge the whole time, but others have been out and about.

Wednesday was a great day to be out. All the gully lines were in great condition and there was some snow on the buttresses from Tuesday. Folks climbed many gullies and team made ascents of hidden chimney and the haston line as well.

Thursday saw the end of the world. The temp. went up dramatically today stripping a lot of snow with the high winds and rain. Teams out said that there was alot of fresh wet snow at a 1000m throughout the day and that it was snowing at the corrie floor as they left at 3pm. The temp. is due to come down again over the next few days which might help sort out some of the wet snow. More high winds and exciting weather is forecast so keep your eyes on it if your heading out.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Save It For A Rainy Day

Today Adam And I Ventured out to my garage for a mega power enduro sesh. Its a good way to keep up the psyche and stay in condition when the weather and conditions are no good. And appart from a little seepage my wall is always in good condition.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Northern Corries

Greg and Euan had a short day today in Sneachda. They climbed the Messenger, which greg said was in excellent condition, a light riming with some very good climbing. With the weather due to be pretty steady over the next week there shoud be plenty of climbing to be had.

Beinn Udlaidh

I recieved this report from Keith about Monday

Went up to Beinn Udlaidh on Monday there to have a wee climb and done Quarzvien scoop. Peter pan was formed and the other pure ice routes looked like they were coming in albeit slowly. Organ pipe also looked like it was slowly forming. From the other side of the corrie it looked like an angry demon mouth! Awesome.Anyway, The ice was wet and a bit soft in places but most placements were bomber and 16cm screws were the pro of choice for the day.Ground was frosty and semi frozen at the base of the climbs with a light dusting of 'snow'. From the top of the climbs to the summit the ground was well frozen and had a layer of loose snow ontop.Temperature from about 11-5 could not have gone over about 2 or 3 degrees and where I'd left my water bottle at the base of the route must have been hovering at 0 degrees as the top layer of water froze up pretty well.Back down at the car the temp was -5 supposedly so hopefully if today didn't heat up too much and the rest of the week stays cold we'll all be in for a treat next week.
Cheers Keith
Keith works at Tiso Ratho

Monday, 5 January 2009

Carn Etchachan

Due to a unfortunate case of man flu I've been stuck in the house for 3 days whilst everyone else enjoys the good conditions.

Greg and Euan headed over the back today and climbed The Guillotine. There is new snow and rime which has made for some excellent mixed conditions on top of the old firm snow, ice and frozen turf. Conditions in the corries has also improved, with the butresses now white. Things look like they should continue to improve over the next few days.

Friday, 2 January 2009

More Point 5 action

Greg and James climbed Point 5 today. They said the conditions were great on the route and that not much had changed from the 30th.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

All the Best to everyone.

Neil and Neil headed up the Ben to start their New Year off with a route or 2. They climbed Tower Scoop then Smith's Route. Their comments were much the same as my own from a few days previous.