Climbing in challenging weather!

On March 8, 2014 by Tim Neill

The last 2 weeks have brought really challenging weather and conditions….weather forecasts and avalanche bulletins have been misleading too. So I feel lucky to have kept climbing successfully with work over the last wee while. Lots of phoning colleagues and guesswork.

A week with the Mountain Medicine Diploma each winter brings a change from National Centre life and a chance to catch up with old friends who also staff the course. As well as climbing and mountaineering skills there are numerous medical and avalanche scenarios to deal with through the week. We used some of the recent huge debris fans below the Lagangarbh corrie to add a little reality!  As well as all the skills training I managed Curved Ridge on the Buachaille and another ascent of Spectre in SCNL.

A surprise view at the end of a day....

A surprise view at the end of a day….

This last week I was climbing with PYB based back in the Coe. Raeburn’s again in SCNL with a few variations to bypass some teams who were savouring the day and possibly the early evening by the look of it. The students cruised  Dorsal Arete in SCNL, SW Ridge of Douglas Boulder and Fawlty Towers nearby as first winter leads. We also grabbed a quick day over in Coire an t-Sneachda nipping up unusually great ice on the Alladins Buttress…climbing Genie and Doctor Janis.

I attempted to climb a few more lines there on a day off in some storm force winds after the course with Keith….and just managing a nice wee route called Prodigal’s Principle before giving up and retiring for coffee. Looking forward to the forecast high pressure drifting in soon for some peace and quiet. The mountains and crags have been earily quiet….I’m sure the sun will bring everyone back out next week. Some of the bigger ice lines on the Ben are ready to climb on the next freeze that’s arriving late tomorrow….

Looking like a giant Christmas cake....some great icy lines waiting for Monday/Tuesday this week!!

Looking like a giant Christmas cake….some great icy lines waiting for Monday/Tuesday this week!!

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