Another very wild and unseasonably cold day again. Karen and I planned on going round the classic CMD arete onto Ben Nevis but with a 50mph wind and hail/snow showers on the summit of Carn Mor Dearg plan B came into action, we headed back down the hill. It was a very quiet day on the hill, we only saw two other folk as we descended. The photos show how cold it actually was today-balaclava on 28th May?! Plenty of early sumer flowers about, todays little collection is trailing azalia and orchids. Next week looks like hotting up and maybe we may get back to summer weather.
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
After yesterdays hurricane winds that swept the West coast the winds today had eased to just a steady gale. Feeling a bit of cabin fever I headed up to Ben Nevis's north face and into the Ciste Corrie up to the wee lochan at 900m which was nicely sheltered from the westerly winds. There were frequent showers through out the day, falling as snow above 700m. Just now and again there was the odd sunny interlude which vaguely resembled what a May day should really feel like.
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Not a particularly nice day to be out on the hills. After the snowline down to 700m yesterday it was a tad milder in the S/SW winds today and only snow above 1100m remaining. It rained all day, light at first then becoming very persistent by afternoon. There was a strong wind but only to around 40mph, not the forecasted high winds. snowing on the highest summits and today Ben Nevis looked like early winter on the summit area. Highlights; some nice flowers out at the moment including an early appearance of saxifrages. A lot of three peak challenges heading up the hill late afternoon with an assortment of attire, always good fun at the end of the day.
Thursday, 19 May 2011
A welcome change to the weather today with some lovely sunshine and views from the tops. Today I was assessing seven students from Lochaber College as part of their Outdoor Diploma. The first year students were being assessed on their leadership skills. We made a nice circuit of Mullach nan Coireans' northern ridges. There were a few short showers of rain but it was mainly sunshine today. There was a cold wind which had brought a dusting of snow above 1000m overnight.
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Issie, Mary, Michael and I had an early start today to beat getting a soaking on Ben Nevis. The forecast for afternoon rain was spot on as we just got back to the carpark when the rain came on, how satisfying is that? The guys from Australia were finishing their Scottish visit in style and were up and down in under 7 hours. We never even got the forecasted strong winds, with just a breeze on the summit. The usual litter louts have come out of the woodwork again I see, I brought down all the trash from the trig point. Today's little bundle of garbage included a beer bottle, cider can, tacky plastic ornaments, charity t shirts and the usual plastic drinks bottles. Looks a bit wet and wild tomorrow. Do you remember those beautiful sunny and hot days two weeks ago?
Monday, 16 May 2011
I was guiding on a 3 Peaks Challenge this weekend. This popular mountain challenge is to scale Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in a 24 hour period. Mary-Joy and her group from London were doing the challenge to raise funds for their local Pony Trekking Charity. Unfortunately they had just missed out on the beautiful weather we've been enjoying in The Highlands and elsewhere over the last 3 weeks or so. We started off in the sunshine on Ben Nevis but had cloud and rain on the descent. Conditions deteriorated down in The lake District and we had rain all through the early hours of the morning. We did get sunshine down in Snowdonia, unfortunately we only had two hours of walking as the ladies had to get their train back from Chester to London that evening. But all in all a good effort. Photos to come soon, I'm away from technology for a few days. Looks like a mixed bag of weather the next few days, showers and sunshine. I was working for Merseyventure this weekend, specialists in 3 Peak Challenge events.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Another beautiful clear day with bags of warm sun. A day of more photos in the sparkling clarity. Today I was along the Liathach ridge, my second favourite mountain (after An Teallach). A fantastic long ridge with many summits and a pinnacled scrambling section in the middle. It was wonderful to sit on every pinnacle and enjoy the warm sun and views The views today reached as far as the hills on Harris and Lewis, over to Glen Affric and beyond. What an amazing 3 days in the most spectacular area of The Highlands. Looks like the heatwave is over. I guiding on another 3 peaks over the weekend, The national 3 peaks that is-Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. Not quite in the same league as Torridons' mighty Three!
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
A traverse of Beinn Alligin today, same old usual weather, blue skies, hot, a little breeze. Another day for lazing about on the summits and getting some excellent photos in the really clear, sparkling conditions. The fires on Liathach now extinguished. The fire brigade doing an excellent job and helicopters loaded with water around this morning too. Check out the excellent new cafe/shop in Torridon village : http://www.torridonstoresandcafe.co.uk/ Great to see the village now has it's shop back and what a great selection of bottled real ales-the best in Scotland!
Monday, 2 May 2011
The heatwave in The Highlands just keeps going on and on! I decided to head up to the best mountain area in the world-Torridon. Unaware that over the weekend the western end of Liathach had been ablaze with a heather fire due to the very dry and hot weather we've been experiencing the last 3-4 weeks. I headed up onto Beinn Eighes' ridge early afternoon so not a soul out along the ridge. Beautiful clarity of light in the SE airflow. Very warm and only a light breeze.