After the storms of last week we had a very nice weekend with a little powder skiing and some good climbing conditions. Point Five Gully was climbed on Saturday and described as being good. NE Buttress and Tower Ridge were also very nice, and some harder mixed climbs were being too. On Monday it started to thaw as high pressure to the south brought warm air from the Atlantic over Scotland. We have been in the mist and murk since, watching the snow and ice melt away again. At least it has not been quite as windy as last week!
Today I climbed Tower Ridge with Hamish, Willis and Matt. We didn't use crampons at all but they might have been nice for a step or two in the last 15m to the summit. The Fallen Block Chimney is full and the Eastern Traverse is all on snow. We have some snow on the other great ridges and when it freezes they will be very nice.
Point Five Gully has melted out revealing a patch of waterfall in the first pitch. Hadrian's Wall Direct has a thin line of ice on it, as does Indicator Wall. Smith's Route has a good amount of ice on it and would not take much to form it completely. In the soggy conditions with rocks falling every now and then, we were quite happy to be on ridge!
The coires are quite full of snow and the big snow gullies are certainly full. A team of skiers went up Observatory Gully for a way today and enjoyed a nice ski all the way back to the foot of Douglas Boulder.
There is snow on the Pony Track from Glen Nevis and good navigation is crucial now that you can't just follow the path.
We have a couple more days of thaw, although slightly cooler than the last two days. Then it looks like it will freeze properly on Sunday and into next week with some fresh snowfall.
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.