Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Winter Clings On

Last week felt very much like Spring had arrived so Davie and I headed down to Polldubh to get our first bit of rock climbing started for the season. I had a look at Maintenance (HVS 5a) on Pine Wall but the crux holds on the right were wet and slimy so decided to leave it until it dries out. We did the old classics of Iche (VS 5a), Damnation (VS 4c) and Resurrection (VS 4c). I hadn't climbed some of these routes for a couple of years so it was nice to get back on them and find them easier than I remember.

Yesterday I was working for Abacus Mountain Guides taking Hannah, Pat and Sarah up Ben Nevis as part of their 3 peaks in 3 days Challenge. Pat was also kicking her retirement off in style by reaching the top of the UK's highest mountain. The forecast wasn't great but turned out to be not too bad. However, by about corner 6 the soft snow had a firm crust on it and we were glad to have had ice axes and crampons with us. A proper white out on the summit, we carefully made our way along the plateau to reach the summit. Well done to the team for a sterling performance and good luck with the other 2 peaks!

Some aspirant mountaineers!

At the summit. A large group of marines were also out on the hill

The trig point just about visible!

Today after a quick morning training session at the Ice factor with Davie, Glenda and I took Robin for a walk up a forestry track near Banavie. We got some great views over to the Ben and Aonach Mor, which showed some fresh snow above about 1110m. The North Face of the Ben still has it's winter coat for sure.