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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
Training for Lhotse 2nd March Moody GlencoeIn training for Lhotse Adele took advantage of the Spring conditions and " got on her bike" for some tours around the glens. The magical attraction of Glencoe never ceases to amaze and after two great bike rides Adele is ready for another couple of weeks of the winter season. Snow is forecasted and with a winter camping trip planned for next week it is all looking hopeful for the return of winter. Even if it does not arrive there is snow on the Ben and Scotland is just a beautiful place to be.Adele still has a few days available in the middle of March for Scottish (Winter) mountaineering or climbing. Lhotse from Camp 1 on EverestAdele will be leaving for Lhotse with a small Jagged Globe team on the 3rd April. This will be her 5th 8000m peak.
Posted on 02 Mar 2012 by adele
An Atmospheric day on the Aonach Eagach 29th Feb
Today Adele and Noelle took the opportunity to make a traverse of one of the finest ridges in Scotland. Perhaps not in full winter conditions but certainly very entertaining and requiring the use of a variety of scrambling rope work and movement techniques. Words such as slithering, groveling and hugging were used to describe Adele's and Noelle's stylish movement across the ridge. Although not a winter traverse the slippy wet rock presented its own challenges and both Adele and Noelle were extremely happy with their day out.
Posted on 29 Feb 2012 by adele
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