Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Scottish Winter Conditions, Ben Nevis - The Ledge Route & No4 Gully - 15th March 2015.


How early do you have to get up to get to the Ben for this kind of weather?
0315, that's how early, but it was well worth it. Stunning alpine like conditions all day. The North Face car park was very busy, as was the Ben. We had thought about No 2 Gully, or even Reaburns Easy Route, but then decided The Ledge Route may not keep it's alpine character as long as the gullies would hold their snow, so The Ledge it was.
Always a brilliant at that grade (II) with stunning views across the North Face of Ben Nevis. It was still a bit chilly in the wind at the top, but we thought, well we're here now, we may aswell visit the summit. We passed a handy snow bollard at the top of No 4 Gully on the way up which we reckoned could be useful later. As it was, on our return, we saw a guide and her client abseiling off it, so we promptly followed.
The gully seemed to get steeper lower down after the turn and a little down climbing was needed. After that it was an atmospheric walk past the well hidden (by snow) lochans and down to the CIC Hut.
The coire was echoing with various calls from different teams climbing almost everywhere (except the major gullies which had massive cornices).      


No 5 Gully.

Ian and Willy on the first ramp.

Willy high up on The Ledge Route.

Snow arete up to Carn Dearg. 

Heading up to the summit of the Ben.

The Ledge Route as seen from the summit.  

Spot the climbers in Tower Gap. 

Climber about to top out.

Our trusty snow bollard.

Off the edge of No 4 Gully.

A very easy abseil really. 

Me and Willy below the huge (thankfully very frozen) cornices in No 4 Gully. 

Descending Coire na Ciste. 

The Douglas Boulder and lower section of Tower Ridge. 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Scottish Winter Conditions - The Runnel, Coire an t-Sneachda - 8th March 2015.


Most of the main gully lines seem intact; The top of Jacobs Ladder has a very small rock section (seen from above), Aladdin's Mirror and Couloir looked ok, the Tridents looked ok (we did The Runnel, the last chimney section is ok but was breaking up a bit on the right side). Crotched looked ok and we saw a team head into Spiral but couldn't see it's condition. Couldn't see condition of things further right? We shared the route with Rob and Sam and had a sociable day with a great mix of weather conditions to give the full Scottish winter experience!           











Sunday, 15 February 2015

Brown Cove Crags - Right Parallel Gully & Red Tarn Cove - Number 2 Gully, 15th February 2015.


An early start from Edinburgh and we had Brown Cove Crags to ourselves (one tent at the bottom of the cove- never saw the occupants). We took some gear and 30m ropes in case they were needed, but the rope got take for a walk!
We went up Right Parallel Gully, which is complete and straightforward. Left Parallel, Central and Broad Gullies are complete, except Broad is getting scrappy and thin about two thirds down. (we descended it on our return).   

Right Parallel Gully.

Looking down Right Parallel Gully.

Jimmy, myself, Willy and Ian ( the shadow!), heading over to Helvellyn, around Brown Cove, from Brown Cove Crags.  

Semi frozen Red Tarn and Striding Edge.

We descended to the "notch" on Striding Edge from Helvellyn and then down a little grade 1 slope/gully to Red Tarn and round to Number 2 Gully. 

Again, this was straightforward, and the rope never saw the light of day! 

A very enjoyable, faff free day out in stunning weather
 with an early finish - result!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Scottish Winter Conditions - Skiing at Glenshee, 8th February 2015.


Cracking days skiing at Glenshee. Pity not quite a full area and some queueing was needed, but nothing too bad.