Winter Mountaineering Course - Scotland


ROCK CLIMBING - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 to 4 days),
SNOWDONIA (3 to 5 days)

NAVIGATION Courses - CUMBRIA (Lakes) (1 or 2 days)

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Beinn Udlaidh - Quartzvein Scoop

Today Simon and I joined the crowds at Quartzvein Scoop IV.4 and it's a superb route well worth (a bit) of queing. We had a late start, planning to be behind the crowds and saw 5 parties ahead of us, some already topping out, as we walked in.

The conditions are great and timing was perfect with us missing the busiest period and getting back to the car as it got dark.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Smoking the White Owl

With a forecast of strong winds and a slight rise in temperature Alan Halewood and I went off to explore Sgurr Finnisg-aig and to fing StWO (grade III.4). To get there park at the Aonach Mor chairlift and follow the track behind the building, after 45 minutes and a few twists and turns the crag appears on the right up the hillside. A bit of trail breaking gets you to the route.
The ice was substantial enough for good ice screws, but water was running in places.

There were some fantastic iceshapes for hooking and holding, and evidence of lots of icicles having fallen down.

The wind picked up and we topped out with a blast of snow in the face.

The route finishes about level with the top gondola station so we made a dash for it. The cabins were running but it was too windy to let us on board and it took 50 minutes to dash down the track, my son Tom (mad downhill mountain biker) does it in 7 minutes!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Aonach Mor - Web Buttress

The Gondola is open so Simon and I headed up, taking the addittional "soft" option of the chair lift to get us even higher. There were parties walking on ahead of us but a steady walk got us to the top of Easy Gully (Grade 1) with the leading parties. The cornice cap to the gully is BIG so we created a Snow Bollard and abseilled over the lip to walk down the gully to easier ground.
I'd not been to Web Buttress before so we climbed The Web III, sorry but not great in current conditions as gear placements are scarce and hard to find. I suggest waiting until later in the season and after some freeze/thaw action.

Very cold and a healthy cornice at the top.

Further along the crag John climbed Left Twin and placed loads of gear!