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Sunshine on the Summit Ben Nevis 12th March Today was perhaps one of the most rewarding days of the winter. For Colin his second attempt at no 4 Gully came with success and his reward of topping out on the summit of Ben nevis for the first time came with sunshine. With a cloud inversion at 1300m it was only those who topped out on Britain's highest mountain who got the suprise.Tommorow Colin, Adele and Roger will be heading for the Classic Curved Ridge on Buchaille Etive Mor
Posted on 12 Mar 2012 by adele
BMC Winter Skills 10/11th March Team members ready for their second day This weekend eleven members from different mountaineering clubs in the UK joined together at the BMC Alex Macintyre hut in Onich for a weekend of introductory winter mountaineering skills. Despite the apparent lack of snow and mild conditions we found plenty of hard snow to practice the essential skills for winter hill walking in the Scottish Mountains
The feedback from the weekend was extremely positive and enabled mountaineering club members from different parts of the country to come together and share the winter experience.
Thanks to all the particpants; instructors Sam Leary and Zac Poulton who worked along side Adele and the BMC for facilitating the course.
A similar course next year will be offered by the BMC.
Busy with Bucket seats and buried axes!
Ice axe breaking at Anoch Mor
Posted on 11 Mar 2012 by adele
Mini Break on the Ben 7th March
Cian and John landed at Glasgow airport at 8am on Monday Morning and where rushed up to Glencoe on the most perfect winter day. Rucksacks were packed with all the essentials and the gourmet food for a three day excusion on to Ben Nevis
Not wanting to miss out on the almost perfect conditions we wasted no time and set off for No 3 Gully, a rather late start but with a good forecast and the prospect of a moonlight Ben Nevis this experience could not be missed.
Cian and John retrieving a glove!
No 3 Gully provided some very exciting, steep one axe climbing and a good preparation for Cian forthcoming expedition to Everest. Topping out was just perfect as the sun set and the moon replaced its brightness. Descending No 4 gully was great fun and soon we were back at our camp site to enjoy our dinner ( tea) cooked outside by moonlight.
During the night the wind picked up and by the morning fresh snow was being blown around giving the mountain a much more serious feel. Avoiding the gullies we decided to go on to Ledge Route and made an early start to avoid the 80mph winds and persiatant snow/rain that was forecast for the afternoon.
John and Cian on Ledge Route
Battling in the wind we made good progress and topped out before the worst of the weather. Descending today by the tourist track it seemed a long way back round to the tents but certainly good training for Cian. Back at the tents Adele was heard to make a suggestion of going down but oh no the boys were intent on staying. After an afternoon nap the winds picked up and the driving rain battered the tents, Haggis, mashed potatoes and gravy were served for tea and soon their was silence from the occupants. The SW winds and driving rain thawed the snow around us and tent peggs started to pop. Dried up streams were now in full spate as we hung onto the tents. During the night the wind changed direction and the snow slowly drifted in on the 80 mph winds. Fighting to stay dry and keep the tent fabric off our ears we maintained our sense of humour's ( just) and managed to sleep!. A quick brew and pork pies for breakfast and we were soon running down the hill chuffed at our Ben Nevis camping experience.
Posted on 07 Mar 2012 by adele
Back to the Ben 4th March
An early start with an extra special early breakfast from Dave at the Fern Villa Guest House in Ballachuilissh meant that Richard and John could get another route in before flying back to the big City. Meeting up with Ian, Ann and Mungo we all decided that Ledge Route was to be the perfect route for today.
Ian , Ann and Mungo at the start of Ledge Route.
A mixture of snow, turf, rock and ice the route took form and with a fresh covering of powder we got the pleasure of making the first set of foot and bum prints in the snow.
Topping out before 2pm gave us plenty of time to run down and race back for Rich and John to catch a 7,30pm flight from Glasgow. Who says Scottish Winter Climbing is not worth it!
Rich and John topping out.A wicked weekend!
Posted on 04 Mar 2012 by adele
Back on the Ben 3rd March
With the freezing level coming down to 900m there was only one place to go for Richard and John who had left the big city last night and flown up for the weekend. After a quick briefing and fitting of crampons we left Ballachuilish and drove North. The rain and wind did not deter us and after Richard reminded Adele abouth the absence of ice axes! we strode out up the path. It was a bit of gloom and doom as a number of groups were already on their way down, ignoring their despondent views we continued and on turning the corner in to the Coire the snowy gullies came out of the cloud.
Walking into Coire na Ciste
After some instruction on self arrest, crampon fitting and cramponing we made our way up No 4 gully. This provided an ideal location to practice some rope work and pitching in preparation for our climb tommorow. In true Scottish style the spin drift and wind added atmosphere to the day and we topped out to get a view.
Richard and John after their ascent of No 4 Gully
Well done boys a grand day out!
Posted on 03 Mar 2012 by adele
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