With the bank holiday weekend and the Six Days Trial starting it's been a busy weekend here in the Outdoor Capital of the UK. We've not had the best weather in the UK but it's not been bad. Yesterday and today started out wet and drizzly but the clouds cleared both days to leave a dry and sunny afternoon. We had the first of our guided group walks on Ben Nevis today and these run on every Wednesday and Sunday all the way until the end of September. It's a great way to find like minded peoiple to share the climb with and learn all about the natural environment, the geology, and history of Ben Nevis as well as be happy to know there is support and help to get you to the top and back down successfully.
Marie and Sally enjoyed the clearing of the clouds and the views this afternoon after a wet start. The snow has been melting away quite quickly. The strong easterly winds of the winter blew a lot of snow down the Red Burn though so there is a deep patch of snow at the Red Burn crossing which has a couple of wide boot trails across them. After this there are just a couple of patches of snow to corner six, more continuos patches from there to 1200m and continuous snow from there to the summit. On a warm day like today the snow is soft and easy enough to walk over. Take care if we do get another late freeze though.
Meanwhile the crags in Glen Nevis dried out very nicely. With the sunshine on th erock and shelter from the wind it was lovely climbing on dry rock. The mica schiest dries out very quickly, especially now that a lot of work has been done to remove the trees close to the crags. Scottish Natural Heritage has welcomed this work and we are also able to clean moss and grass off the climbs. Hannah, Owen, Katie and I were at After Crag where we climbed the steep and pumpy Kraut as well as the much more layed back Rubber Face, both at E1 5b.
Tomorrow we start our Summer Mountain Leader Assessment. Five days of assessment in all things to do with kleading groups in the UK mountains in summer conditions. We'll be avoiding the snow patches and the tops of the highest mountains but there are plenty of lower peaks that will test the six candidates thoroughly!
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.