A little more snow fell yesterday and we didn't get as much sunshine as hoped for. However more snow is very welcome right now. Today the wind picked up earlier than expected and started to blow the lying snow around and putting it down on North and Northwest facing slopes. The temperature went up slightly as well, just enough to make the snow slightly sticky at 900m but no more than this.
To avoid most of the fresh deposits of snow Grahame, Annie and I went to the East Ridge of North Buttress of Stob Ban. Despite having quite an awkward name this is a very good fun route in the Mamores with a short enough walk in and a quick descent, ideal if the weather is coming in early.
The wind blowing across the ridge at about 60mph was less than ideal though and my face is a little sore now from the exfoliation. Goggles and face covering were essential. The turf was not frozen and the snow on top was dry and soft, so of no use for the climbing at all. We went to the higher shoulder to start the climb which keeps it at grade II and includes the fine ridge sections high up on the route. Short pitches and clear lines of sight were required to keep communication and the flow of the day going. It's tricky managing a rope in strong winds on a ridge and the whole system can break down or become very slow if you carry on with long pitches.
We had great views all day and it only started raining once we were back down. More rain (snow on the tops) is forecast over night after which we should get a spell of cold weather with lighter SE winds and some sunshine. It's going to be a week for enjoying ridges.
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.