Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These 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.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015



Sitting outside this afternoon in shorts and a t-shirt it seemed strange to think that I had been ice climbing today. Mike and I went up Ben Nevis after a slight frost but the sun already high above Carn Mor Dearg. It was a very warm walk in and the snow in the sunshine was already very soft. However in the shade the snow was really quite firm and the climbing was good.


As the snow and ice melts away there is a much greater hazard of rock and ice fall as well as collapsing cornices. A large collapse above North Gully recently has left debris all the way down into the coire. So careful route selection is very important. Mike and I went for Number Two Gully Buttress. There is no cornice above the route and no ice hanging above the climb. Also the sun stays off the face for most of the day and this is the most important thing. The ice was very nice although detached in some places and the views spectacular.


Comb Gully Buttress does get the sunshine and a few large blocks of ice fell off it as we were climbing. There are also some very overhanging cornices baking in the sunshine over several faces and gullies.


The air was crystal clear and Mike and I enjoyed the views of The Cuillin, Rhum, Mull and even further away in all directions. We also got a great bum slide down the Red Burn! One more dry day then it goes colder and more mixed so if you are keen there will be plenty of ice climbing and skiing still to enjoy.





Saturday, 18 April 2015


Like many parts of the UK today we had unbroken sunshine all day here in Lochaber. The sunshine is as warm as it is in August so on the white sandy beach at Arisaig it is great weather for lounging around. In the shade and especially early in the morning the ice is good to climb and there is plenty of it on Ben Nevis. The snow is firm in the morning for skiing but the sun gets to work early and softens the snow during the day. High up we have similar snow cover to last year's record breaking winter so the spring skiing is good.

High pressure is set in place so calm and dry conditions will be with us for quite a long time to come. Don't you just love the Spring?



Friday, 17 April 2015


With the sun still shining and the crags dry I went rock climbing with my family today in Glen Nevis. Owen did his first trad lead and Katie enjoyed here first multi-pitch climb. We did some ace zip lining too.

Meanwhile Hadrian's Wall Direct was climbed on Ben Nevis on fat soft ice with bomber neve higher up. What a wonderful time of year this is with so much on offer.