It seems strange that the rest of the country is having real problems with too much snow and we have had virtually none in Lochaber. Unfortunately a few people have not been able to make it to Fort William for their adventures with us and we are trying very hard to reschedule the trips. It has been very cold of course and the ice has been growing very quickly. In Glen Coe there is ice everywhere you look and you don't have to walk far from the road to go ice climbing. The West Face of Aonach Dubh was popular today, offering lots of ice climbing just half an hour walk from the road and relatively sheltered from the wind.
Elved, Tony and I went to climb the classic Number Six Gully along with John, Jon and Caspar. The climb was surprisingly wet and our ropes got quite icy as a result. The water coming down the climb is freezing fast though and building on the already fat ice that is in place. There is also a lot of snow on the route the climbing is steady away.
The wind has been blowing around and up the gully forming some really nice umbrellas. We also climbed the direct exit, a short fun and slightly steeper pitch of ice that gave us a great way to end the week of climbing.
There is lots of ice on Stob Coire nam Beith and several climbs are in good condition by the look of it. The rocks are not rimed up but a little snow was blowing around and making things look a bit more white above 800m or so.
On the way back down we stopped to climb some of the excellent ice in the streams underneath the face. Lots of people have been enjoying the climbing here and with good reason. It's really good fun!
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.