Someone left the door open and the tropical maritime draft has melted away most of the snow. It would be useful if this door could be closed again to allow for more seasonable conditions.
It did not feel at all wintry on Ben Nevis today but Cecile, Jenni, Katrin and I made the most of the remaining snow patches to cover some skills in preparation for the coming winter and ski touring trips they have planned. These guys are on the Adventure Tourism Management course at UHI West Highland College and we got through a lot of stuff including many tips for keeping dry and warm in the winter, how to walk with big boots on, kicking steps in the snow, rope work for Alpine and scrambling ridges as well as glacier travel and crevasses rescue. We even got the crampons on but only for a minute or two!
There are pathces of snow down to the CIC Hut level but they are quite small and not very useful. We're not quite back to square one but not far from it. Snow showers on the summits at the weekend will be welcome but it looks warm again for the start of next week. Should we all ask Santa for a return to winter conditions for Christmas?
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.