It's been all about ridges this week. Plenty of soft snow arrived last weekend and it has remained cold since. The soft snow stayed soft and got blown around a bit by the SE wind. It was particularly windy on Monday but Tuesday and Wednesday were a bit better. Even so, many areas of the mountains have been scoured and there are many areas of firm wind slab to avoid. These are now starting to settle down a bit but care is still needed to avoid being avalanched.
Grahame, Dave and I climbed Sron Na Lairig on Wednesday which was great. There was a marked temperature inversion. A hard frost in the glen gave way to soft and slightly wet snow at the start of the climb. The snow was soft but dry at the top where it was colder again. The climb is brilliant and in a great situation with some really cool positions. The turf under the snow is not frozen though and it is very dry so it's not much use for climbing. There are also plenty of loose blocks and flakes that are not frozen in place. So mixed climbing conditions are not perfect.
Yesterday, Grahame, Dave and I climbed The Dragon's Tooth in Glenachulish. This is a superb outing to a Munro with the best views in the area. We soaked up the vista down over the Sound of Mull to Rum and Skye. It was a brilliant way to finish four really nice days of climbing. Today Abacus teams went to North Buttress, Buachaille Etive Mor which is really good just now and East Ridge, North Top, Stob Ban which was great as well. Until we get a thaw and refreeze the ridges and buttresses will be the best things to climb but in this weather there is nothing better to do anyway. Get out and enjoy the sunshine!
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.