Sunday, 27 April 2008

SUMMER CONDITIONS ARE HERE





It was an ambsolutely glorious day here in The Highlands. It certainly seemed that Summer was here as Alison and I walked the fine circuit of Munros North from Invervar in Glen Lyon. We were down to base layer clothing most of the day in the warm sunshine. Still found some final snow to play on on the East slopes and corrie of Carn Gorm which was like a cauldron. Looking across to Ben Lawers the East corrie is still holding snow-the final snowy walk in Highland Perthshire before admitting Winter is over here!!

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Friday, 25 April 2008

RAINING ON THE SUMMITS!




Today was the first day it was actually raining on the tops, can't remember it being that mild for such a long time! Ian and I went up An Stuc & Ben Lawers from the Glen Lyon side by the lovely North ridge of An Stuc. Unfortunately the weather forecast was a bit out as we had rain on and off most of the day and by late afternoon it was pretty constant. A lot of snow as gone off ridges but still found some fun in the corries between the 2 Munros and a great drift for the descent by the burn running from the summit of Lawers. Cat Gully was looking well filled in but will need a good freeze to be any good, night time ascent? Some interesting looking cornices about, not a day for climbing!

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Tuesday, 22 April 2008

ALPINE PERTHSHIRE




The settled and sunny conditions continue here in Highland Prthshire. I was seeking out some good snowy ground today on Beinn Ghlas & Ben Lawers. The North corrie of beinn Ghlas as an excellent cover of snow as I made my way to the summit. Some big cornices in this area. Then over to the Creag Loisgte crag just South of Ben lawers summit. Great wee grade 1 gully here, the snow a little soft but then again it is the end of April!

Some mild and drizzly weather ahead, cornices will be prone to collapse.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

SNOW HANGING ON




Out on the local snow spots again today. east corrie of Tarmachan and the lovely line up to the summit. Across to Meall Garbh and down 'Broad Gully' which someone had recently skied. Snow quite soft in the now warm sun despite a cold SE which was strong today. Looks like only a couple more days of cool weather before SW may finally strip a lot of the wonderful snow lines, enjoy while its there!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

BLARNEY BANTER ON THE BEN






Another stunning day in the Highlands with the extended Winter conditions and beautiful sunny weather. Ruth, Heather, Peter and Davey were over from Ireland on their first visit to Scotland and what a treat they had on Ben Nevis. We went up via the Red Burn were the snowline was down to 800m. and there was even sections of hard neve on the way to the summit. On our way up we were watching helicopters buzzing about with mountain rescue going on all day, busy with at least 3 separate incidents, one involving 7 folk lifted off the hill. The 'Pony Track' was covered over completely from 900m onwards. Folk out enjoying the climbing and even skiing down the hill.

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Thursday, 17 April 2008

FORGET THE SUNBLOC, WHERE'S THE GOGGLES?





It was another wild wintery day again today, despite the weatherman saying West was best. Fred, Paul and I were on the gullies on Sron na Creise, Glencoe. It started off promising with sunshine. Fred and Paul took the more challanging narrow gully with a nice cornice at the top, I took a more comfortable gully on the right hand side on the pics. We were greeted with strong, cold SE winds on the Sron and snow showers through out the afternoon as we made our way over Creise and then Meall a Bhuirdh. The snow was stinging at one point, except those who had goggles.

Lots of folk out skiing at the Glencoe ski area on the way down, just as the sun came out and skies cleared! Can't win 'em all. With snow at 800m today and lots of it. Winter conditions set to continue through to May

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Wednesday, 16 April 2008

BACK TO PROPER SCOTTISH CONDITIONS!








It was a good Winterry day out today. From our 'Alpine' weather the last couple of days it was back to feeling very wintery on the hill with a cold, moderate SE wind, cloud down to 700m at times and the odd snow shower. I was up and down a few grade 1 snow gullies on the Eastern side of Tarmachan. Excellent snow, frozen at 900m with some rime on the crags higher up.


Lower down below the snowline the Purple Saxifrage is out, aswell as the Primrose. Had to pedal downhill from the dam at Lochan na Lairige today as the wind was so strong, not on at all!



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Monday, 14 April 2008

GLORIOUS GHORDAIDH




What a beautiful day again here in The Highlands. The sun shone all day and the visability was superb. Peter and I went up Meall Ghordaidh from the Glen Lyon side. A very much finer ascent from this North side, much more craggy features and lots of snow down to 700m. Untouched beautiful snow, a little soft in the now high sun but a delight to walk upon and views of snow drenched mountains in all directions. You really must get out in these conditions, before it dissappears!

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Saturday, 12 April 2008

WEST COAST ICE PALACE





Paul and I were away on Friday night snow-holing on Sgurr nan Coireachan near Glenfinnan. We found a good drift high up below the summit on a very calm night and relitively mild. A beautiful evening looking out to Skye and back East to Ben Nevis. The snowline was at 800m and even lower on The Ben and Glencoe. We woke in the morning to cloud but it broke up quickly and we were walking off the hill today in beautiful Spring like conditions. Not many winters you can still snow-hole mid April and be basking in sun lower down

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Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A FINE DAY IN THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS





It was a very pleasent day on the mountains today. I was playing about on the various gullies on Creag nan Caillich and Cam Chreag on the Tarmachans. It was clear and sunny morning with a high cloud cover part of the afternoon but still with some pleasent sunny spells. Dropping doen into the South corrie from Meall Garbh was like a furnace at one point, with the amount of snow, no wind and bright sunshine. The gully to the East of The Lozenge Bttress on Meal Garbh was excel, with lots of iced up crags to keep the interest.

Great mix again of windslab, frozen old snow and ice on the crags.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

LONG WINTER CONTINUES





It was back to January conditions today. I was in the Cam Creag area on The Tarmachans today, went up 'Easy Gully' the broad gully in the Corrie. Wonderful mixture of pure winter conditions, iced up crags, neve, frozen ground, windslab. The cloud was low most of the morning with a constant light snowfall on a moderate, cold NW. A lot of snow still around and Eastern aspects with windslab building up again. Interesting to note that this time last year we were enjoying the start of an heatwave with temps in the 20's.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

SNOWY & COLD LAKE DISTRICT





I was down in The English Lake District over the weekend working for http://www.mountainandglen.com We were givng several teams some route familiarisation and navigation training for their 3 Peaks Challanges later in the year. We had two sessions on Scafell Pike, daytime and again in night conditions. It was a very cold and wintery Saturday. Nice and clear in the daytime but on the night time route up Scafell Pike there was constant snowfall with lying snow down to 400m and the freezing level dropping all through the night.

More snow and cold Northerly airflow for first part of next week back up here in The Highlands.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

SOLITUDE, SUN-KISSED SNOW, FORGOT THE SUNBLOCK AGAIN!






It was another beautiful sunny day in The Southern Highlands. I went into the Eastern Corrie of Ben Lawers passing the lovely remote Lochan nan Cat then going up an easy gully on Creag an Fhithich and finally onto Ben Lawers. The snow was very soft in the warmish temperatures and after yesterdays rain. Their was some fimy, icy snow above 1100m. I descended the East ridge back down to Tombreck. The ridge was well banked with snow, the Eastern Corrie of Lawers is looking great for a ski run, when the avalanche risk subsides.
Warm again tomorrow then yet another snowy forecast and cold North winds for the weekend.

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