Despite the forecast of gales on the high tops today Mark, Steve and I decided on Ledge Route up Ben Nevis. The guys were wanting to get to the summit of The Ben via an interesting way and they got it. They had never done any scrambling so this was a good introduction. We had the whole of the North Face to ourselves, it seemed, as there was no one in the car parks this morning. We were well sheltered from the strong SW winds all the way up. We soon got a load of snow showers at around 900m to spice up the day. It was pretty wintry on the plateau and around 3 inches of snow lying on the summit area, the gully tops are starting to get a good covering of snow now. It was another one of those 'several pairs of gloves day' in the wide range of temperature variations. Steve and Mark enjoyed their first taste of the Scottish mountains and are wanting to come back for more this winter! Most days are now starting to have a definite winter feel to them.
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Quite a wet and windy day on Aonach Beag and Aonach Mor today on a traverse from Glen Nevis to the Nevis Range. Rachel was looking for a nice sunny day out scrambling on Aonach Eagach but we settled for a wet, windy, cloudy, cold time instead. It was feeling very cold and chilled on the summits with some wet snow at 1000m. Good points today- no one seen on the hills, two coffee stops in warmth at the Nevis Range establishments and an early afternoon finish. Rachel also racked up her tally of Munro's to 52 and she did these two Munro's in purist style by wanting to walk all the way down, refusing the gondola. We went through several pairs of wet, cold gloves today. Now, where are those ski goggles?
Monday, 25 October 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
It was -1 degrees C at seal level this morning after clear skies overnight. Doug had previously been out in The Alps with me and wanted a taste of Scottish hills. We headed up onto Ledge Route on ben Nevis this morning. We had the whole place to ourselves. There was a light dusting of snow and frozen ground at 900m, we enjoyed the best of the bright weather all the way up. Around noon the snow showers came on, just as forecasted. The usual charachters were struggling up to the top of The Ben, including one guy with one of those see through plastic emergency poncho's and not much else! It could have been any month in winter today in the biting NW wind. We soon left the crowds again and headed across the CMD arete. Quite awkward descent down the boulders with the fresh snow. The showers eased and we had a nice decent view along the ridge. By the time we descended off Carn Mor Dearg the snow line had lowered. Just got to the car park when the rain came on heavy, still only plus 4 degrees at sea level so plenty of snow will be getting dumped over night and into tomorrow. I think this was a 'proper' winter day and Doug had a big grin most of the way round.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
What a difference a week makes, as they say. Last week we were basking in warm sunshine on An Teallach, T-shirt style and sunbathing. Today on Aonach Beag we had snow lying at 1000m and a cold Northerly wind. Snow showers to 900m by the middle of the day, winter as arrived! Well for a short while anyway. Felt great to be out in wintry conditions again. The best walking route up Aonach Beag is via Steall Meadows then onto the various tops on the south side of the mountain. Had an excellent run down from the summit (well had running shoes on so that would have saved frostbite I guess). Some late afternoon sunshine. Looks like good morning for tomorrow with a frost overnight. Now, where are those winter boots?
Thursday, 14 October 2010
One of the quietest days on Ben Nevis this year with only a handful of folk on the hill today. Jorg and Rob from the Czech Republic were treated to a dry, cool day and good views, despite the forecast for gloomy weather. We even had the summit to ourselves, well apart from a high altitude mouse who was scouring the summit area for food scraps. Looks like snow on the tops tomorrow as the temperatures drop and much colder next week. Bring on the snow!!!
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
A fantastic weather day on An Teallach today. George and I enjoyed a leisurely circuit around the best mountain in Scotland (according to me!). We enjoyed blue skies, no wind and warm temperatures as we strolled round the scrambly Corrag Bhuidhe pinnacles. Lots of time for posing pictures, sunbathing, nibbling and Ferrel goat watching. Oh yes and the views of course were so beautiful. We saw no one until the other side of Sgurr Fiona. To appreciate An Teallach (the best mountain in Scotland-did I mention that already?) deserves days like this! How do you top a top day like this, well with a star filled night and The Northern Lights of course, seen spectacularly over Little Loch Broom.
Monday, 11 October 2010
The promise of warm sun and blue skies had George and I up in the NW Highlands for a couple of days. We headed up Ullapool way and a afternoon spurt up Beinn Enaglair, above Braemore Junction. The promise came true and we enjoyed blue skies and warm sunshine. There was a bank of cloud to the East of the country while the west bathed in the heat. looking over toward the Cairngorms there was a temperature inversion. Good conditions for tomorrow?