After a brilliant weekend of cold, dry and sunny weather, winter climbing conditions have been rapidly improving. I was a bit too pessimistic in my last post; must be a sign of getting older. There was enough rime and snow on the high buttresses for mixed climbs to be tackled and a few of the steeper routes were climbed. Sidewinder, Slab Climb, Sioux Wall and Cutlass on Ben Nevis, Crest Route, Central Groves, Scabbard Chimney and Intruder on Stob Coire nan Lochan were all climbed. There were one or two loose blocks and bits of soggy turf but generally the climbing was good. Today the temperature went up slowly but Sally and I managed a climb before all the rime and snow all fell off.
We only had a short day so we went for Jackknife on Douglas Boulder. I've climbed this a couple of times now and I really enjoy the climbing. It's just one pitch of tricky climbing which is nicely sustained and well protected. An easy pitch gets you to the start and another easier pitch gets you to where you can escape into Douglas Gap West Gully for a quick descent.
Ice has been forming well over the last three days. There are good fat smears on Gemini, Vanishing Gully and many others. However we have much warmer weather forecast for the rest of this week so some of this will melt away. How much we lose depends on how much rain falls and most of this will be on Thursday by the look of it. Hopefully it will not be as wet as the last few thaws.
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.