Thursday, 29 April 2010


A warmish period the last few days, with rain and showers thrown in. Biking and hill  running (in a fashion)  today up on the hills east of Crauch Inse, near Spean Bridge. Cnap Cruin at only 742m and totally pathless made a nice day out combined with a bike ride from the house along the Caledonian Canal. Great to have a light rucsac and running shoes on after big boots & ironmongary. These lower hills are great in this kind of weather as it was always out of the cloud today and so views always constant. Spring I think is finally here, flowers out with Wood Anemone in profusion. Birds enjoying the warmer weather, lots of Curlews lower down and two pairs of Golden Plover up on the hill. Guranteed to see no one on these lower hills, only soul I saw today was this guy in the picture above! He's standing looking across the open fields above Corriechoille. Someones spent a while making him, any one know the artist and why? Looks like colder conditions for a few days over the weekend and even some snow on the higher tops before settled conditions by Sunday.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


After yesterdays rain with snowfall higher up the hill it was back to a beautiful sunny day again today. Glenn was on  his first visit to Scotland this weekend and he wanted to go up Ben Nevis today, we enjoyed clear skies and sunny spells by mid day. It was very busy on the pony tarack with the start of the 'silly season' of 3 peak challengers and  folk in fancy dress. Most folk seemed well equiped though. To escape the crowds I took Glenn over to the lip of the North face to see the splendour of the 'other side of The Ben', we walked around from Number 4 Gully area to the summit  and savoured the views and quietness. We descended the Red Burn, again to escape the Saturday afternoon crowds. There was quite a few centemetres of fresh snow above 900m, was interesting to see the traction of approch shoe  type footwear on the snow today, lots of giggles, slips, screams, sliding and wooaaah! Looks like a warmer summery period coming up, is this the true end of winter?

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


A great winters day again! There were a few snow showers overnight and the odd snow flurry today, along with some nice sunny intervals. Overnight sea level temperatures were just above freezing.  I had a lazy start and set off for the South Gully on Stob Ban, not getting on my bike till 10.30am. Of course no one around as everyone heading for The Ben. No one been in the gully for ages. It was in superb condition, frozen hard snow most of the way and excellent front pointing most of the way, there was a considerable amount of fresh windslab in places but easily avoidable and the final slopes were well wind scoured and icy. It could have been any month of the winter today judging by the conditions, brilliant. So good I down climbed it to savour it all. Looks like staying cold the rest of the week before a change to a SW airflow and warm spells next week. Maybe then is when 'winter is over' :(  watch this space!.

Monday, 19 April 2010


Another cracking day in The Highlands. It was a lovely sunny morning. The Ben clear again and it was cooler. All great stuff for keeping the winter going! These are Georges pics from yesterday with yours truely in North Gully, Ben Nevis.

Sunday, 18 April 2010


 A great winters climbing again! The tropical temperatures of last week have been replaced with colder weather. Overnight and early this morning it was snowing to 600m. Set off in rain thinking the weatherman has got it wrong but we trusted the forecast and sure enough beutiful sunny weather by late morning. George and I climbed North Gully which is just to the left of No 4 Gully. We chose it partly because there was no one else there, many parties were marching up to Green Gully looked like a que forming. We had our own little space all day. Excellent route and the first pitch was verging on III rather than II, excellent ice. Easier above this and a great finish over the cornice (George is late with his pics of this has he's still driving home to Glasgow). There were more climbers than walkers on the summit today. Could be staying cold into next week.

Friday, 16 April 2010


Another beautiful clear skies day again. A short half day easy scramble on Pink Rib, Beinn na Chrualaiste in Glencoe today. A nice wee hill with probably the best view of the Buchaille. Is winter over? Sure there'll be a final snowy something or other to play on before it all disappears.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


A slightly cooler day on Ben Nevis today. I went for a wander up No.4 Gully, the snow wasn't too soft and quite firm high up. Only a handful of fallen rocks in the gully. The early cloud soon cleared and it was another glorious afternoon. The footprints are really close to the edge of the cornice on Gardyloo Gully right now, as can be seen on the last photo-folk even walking there in clear weather! It was quite amusing on the descent, two people followed me down the Red Burn (was this there desired route?), the giggles and chatting stopped for a while at the steeper section and there was mutterings and shrieks on the traverse out at the bottom! That time of year I suppose. Another cracking day in store tomorrow befor a change to cooler and even snow showers at the weekend.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Another beautiful clear skies day, wall to wall sunshine and superb visability. Annie & Laoisa were with me again for a more gentler day out after yesterday's day out on The Ben. We went up Glen Nevis tro Steall meadows and up to Beinn Cuhmainn. This is a cracking wee hill with great views and you won't see anyone up this little hill. Snow is fast disappearing off the tops, ridges and south facing slopes in this heat. Best getting out early morning if your looking for hard snow. How soft will it be on The North Face of The Ben? We'll see.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


Another lovely and warm sunny day again. Annie and 13 yr daughter, Laoisa  had their first taste of winter hillwalking today on Ben Nevis. We went up the Red Burn and round the Northern cliffs of The Ben to the summit, spending as much time in snow as possible. This was their first time in the white stuff and they loved every minute of it. After some earlier cloud this morning, there was constant sun and blue skies the rest of the day. It was warm but a pleasent heat, unlike yesterdays summer temperatures-too hot for me or is it the sudden change from winter to summer and no spring? The snow is quite soft and no sign of ice. Good weather to come for the next couple of days

Sunday, 11 April 2010


A fantastic day again in the Highlands (yeah, yeah whats new!). It was t-shirt style again today on the CMD arete to Ben nevis. The clear night had frozen the snow up nicely so great conditions in the morning. One of those days agin for lots of pics along the way. Most of the way along the arete today there was a constant noise of rockfall due to the high temperatures.Cornices looking very dodgy in places. There are a few rocks on the arete poking through now and the lovely narow sculptures have been well trodden down, but it's still all fantastic stuff.  It was like a furnace on the final slopes up to the summit.When will it all end?