Back for a wee break in the French Alps, I wasn't climbing but spent all the time possible on the slopes. I met up with Dan and my sister (doing a season) and we did lots of off-piste in search of fresh tracks and we weren't disappointed. We was mainly snowboarding as plenty of powder was delivered on the hills, however I did manage to get some skiing in as well. Now for some end of season routes on the Ben?? I hope so!!
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
On Thursday I headed over to Hell's Lum to have a look at Deep Cut Chimney with Jamie. Unfortunately, whilst gearing up my super lightweight helmet blew away with a strong gust of wind. We went to look for it but had no luck. I decided I didn't fancy climbing Deep Cut without a helmet because there was already a team on the route. We went and soloed Escalator instead which was in good condition. I then headed over to the top of The Seam to find Graham and Ben on their second route and took some shots for them. So the day didn't quite go to plan, but it was enjoyable.
Friday, 13 March 2009
On Tuesday I went up onto Aonach Mor and had a half day on the slopes before my 2pm shift at The Ice Factor. The slopes were quite quiet and on a blue sky day with fresh snow, it was a great way to start a days work. Off to Chamonix next week, so having a half day to get a few turns in will allow me to get the most out of the trip.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Again as I woke up this morning, I looked out of my window to find everything covered in snow. It was a cold evening here in Kinlochleven and the the snow has been falling constantly from the early hours in the morning and is still going now (9am). I expect it to busy at The Ice Factor today.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Yesterday and last night we recieved pleanty of fresh snow. It fell down to sea level but has been slowly thawing out at the low levels. Up high the snow is deep and the will be large accumulations of fresh windslab. Make sure you check out the Avalanch Forcast before you head out. Bring on the low temperatures!
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Today I assisted Karl on day two of a winter mountaineering course. We built bucket seats, T-axe belays, snow bollards - and then tested them to destruction! Still strong even though the snow is very soft. We then went up North gully and looked at using rock spikes and threads when we could, snow anchors otherwise. To descend we looked at stompers and also built a snow bollard and abseiled off it. On the way down we saw the mountain rescue in the process of extracting someone who fell down the whole length and more of SC Gully. The new snow that had fallen over night and throughout the day was very soft and damp, lots of cartwheels came hurtling down the slopes approaching the crags throughout the day. Could really do with a good freeze to firm it up.