The Rockhoppers Mountaineering Club sent a big contingent to Scotland to enjoy Hogmanay and some winter walking and climbing. I am enjoying spending three days with Till, Hollie, J and Sam of the club to go through some winter mountaineering skills. These guys already have a good base of rock climbing and some winter walking experience so we're mostly just winterising their skills. We started with a trip up Number Three Gully on Ben Nevis including coaching in core movement skills, snow anchors and belaying on snow anchors, moving roped together on steep snow and all sorts of other things. It was surprisingly nice on the top with a light breeze so we found Number Four Gully very easily and abseiled into this before walking down and back to the van.
It was also surprising to see that not all the rime had fallen off the rocks. Some of it had but above 1100m it all still looked quite wintry. We have two days forecast with nice, cold weather so there might be a chance to do some mixed climbing on Ben Nevis. Apart from this there is not much to climb other than the big gullies such as Number Three and Four Gullies, a nicely icy Number Two Gully, a thinly iced North Gully and very thinly iced Number Three Gully Buttress. The easier classic ridges will be grand days out too but we could really do with some more snow now to be honest.
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.