Sunday, 24 January 2010

West is best

On Friday myself, pete, karen and their 2 dogs went for an explore up beinn dearg east of Ullapool to see what conditions were like. There's been a thaw over there, and the snowline is now about 650m. Emerald gully is missing its top icefall, and Fenian looks thin. Orangeman's gully looks good, and there appeared to be lots of ice on the Ice Hose, so Penguin should be in. Pete went up the Cadha Amadan with the dogs, while Karen and I soloed the Rev Ian Paisley Memorial gully, which had some soft patches and a couple of steps of II, but was ok.

Friday was intentionally short to save energy for the Saturday - a traverse of An Teallach. We left the road at 8am and were down at 7pm. The snow is as good as you could hope for, and recent northerlies have even banked out the bad step, which combined with light winds and some great cloud formations made for a great day out. Surprisingly we only saw one other party, and we think they had climbed a gully, as we didn't meet anyone on the ridge.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Thaw now, but what a freeze!

Warm wet weather has replaced the cold, but we made use of it. Last weekend saw us on Steall falls on Friday, in Strathconon (Alt Mhairi) on Saturday, and on Fain Falls (Dundonnel) on Sunday. The latter is graded IV, 4, but we found it quite hard. It's in condition so infrequently, but the cocensus seems to be top end IV,5. So we did our first technical 5 by accident!

Photos - Alt Mhairi, Steall, P1 Fain, Vicky seconding P2 Fain (credit for photo Steve and Ryan, Aberdeen), P2 Fain