The snow made a very welcome return last night. Over the weekend it cooled down a bit and we got some fresh snow on the tops, but a lot of rain as well! Last night it snowed dopwn to 600m and there was quite a lot of it too. Will, Jonathan and I walked up the Allt a'Mhuilinn through a few last heavy showers of grauple and snow to climb NE Buttress. I was expecting this to be quite a slow, arduyous climb with soft snow on rocks, but this is not how it turned out.
Over the weekend we got some wet snow and a brief warmer spell, possibly with rain at most levels. So, when this wet snow froze it made some slightly firmer crispy snow which made the climbing on NE Buttress really very nice. Progress was aided by enough firm snow on the ledges to make the cramponing steady away. There was even some ice on the turf and in the wet corners. It felt properly wintry and was very well rimed up too. The rime is quite thick and icy already but omes away easily enough if you are digging for protection.
The Mantrap does not have ice in the cracks so it is OK to climb, and the Forty Foot Corner is quite alright as well. Altogether, it was a fantastic climb, much better than I thought it might be.
Over in Number Three Gully there was a small avalanche caused by someone climbing up the gully. We've just had a good bit of fresh snow after a long thaw - the new snow will need some time to settle down a bit. Cornices are still generally fairly small though. Fresh snow will accumulate this week from steady showers each day. The rocks need some time to refreeze, as does the turf, but there's some fun mixed climbing to do.
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.