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November 08 Conditions

Full winter conditions
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Tuesday 25th November 2008

Am Basteir and the line of Hung, Drawn and Quartered

Yesterday Martin and I had an awesome time on Skye.

We made the first winter ascent of Hung, Drawn and Quartered. This summer E4 takes an obvious overhanging chimney on Am Basteir at the North end of the Skye ridge.

It was -1°C at 800m and the route was plastered in verglas with nevé on the ledges and the occasional piece of frozen turf.

We thought it was hard, “Harder than any grade 8 I've done” Martin said, so maybe VIII,9

Martin on the very overhanging first pitch of Hung, Drawn and Quartered View across to Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan Gillean
View towards Loch Sligachan Martin topping out on the last pitch

Nick on the steep second pitch of Hung, Drawn and Quartered (Photo by Martin Moran)

After further thought it's been decided that a stiff VIII, 8 is probably the best grade for the route Martin and I did yesterday.


Sunday 23rd November 2008

Sam and James heading towards Shelter Stone

Yesterday Sam, James and I had a cold but rewarding day over on Shelter Stone.

It was -7°C on the tops and with a strong gusty wind it felt very cold. Due to the thaw last week and the Northerly wind the North facing crags were in excellent condition, covered in rime and frozen turf.

We climbed the start of Postern and the end of Clach Dhian Chimney. This makes a good route up Shelter Stone if you want a shorter day out.

Sam on the Postern (Photo by James Edwards) Sam on the exposed traverse into Clach Dhian Chimney

Thursday 13th November 2008

Looking West along the Liathach ridge (Photo by Mike Wells)

Report just in from the North West highlands.

Thanks to Mike for these photos of Liathach and this report from yesterday:

“Well, much better weather than I'd been expecting over in Torridon today.
We went east to west - it was a bit dreich on the initial climb but things improved and once on the ridge the cloud lifted at times.
Not much snow on south facing slopes. I waved an ice axe about for effect for a while but certainly didn't need crampons.”

Liathach in Torridon (Photo by Mike Wells) Liathach yesterday (Photo by Mike Wells)

Wednesday 12th November 2008

Today I had a fun day out climbing with Di
We climbed Burning and Looting on Fiachaill Buttress in Coire an t-Sneachda.

The day started with lots of low cloud but cleared up later in the day to give us a few views. The temperature stayed around zero all day up on the crags.

There were a few parties out on the other buttresses including John and Pete on Aqualung over in Coire an Lochain. They reported similar conditions with cracks well rimed making it hard to find gear.

Di on Burning and Looting Aladdins to Fluted Buttresses

Saturday 8th November 2008

Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival Photo Competition Winner.

Just found out that I won the 'A Winter Adventure' category photo competition at the Mountain Film Festival held in Edinburgh. You can view the winning photo of Rob on Gargoyle Wall on my Winter Gallery page


Saturday 1st November 2008

Amy on the Aonach Eagach

Today we had a great winter mountaineering day in Glencoe. Amy, Rich, Paula and myself did the Aonach Eagach. A front gradually moved in from the North West but it stayed fine throughout the day with the freezing level just above the tops.

This last week has been excellent start to the winter season with loads of ascents in the Cairngorms and a few new routes in the North West Highlands. Viv and Steve did a new route on Beinn Eighe while Roger and James did a couple of new lines in the remote North West.

Richa and Paula on the Aonach Eagach Looking West along the Aoanch Eagach