Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ice Factor yesterday, Dorsal Arete today.

Sam bringing up Katya and Aide
Katya leading the way
Like every other climber and mountaineering instructor in the area, I went to the Ice Factor yesterday as there was a serious melt down in the mountains.  Summit temps were well above freezing and it had been raining all day.  Blair told me people were skiing in Glencoe so fair play to them.

Katya loving her huge spike belay
Katya leading Sam hanging out..
Today Katya, Aide, Sam and I all headed back into Glencoe, dry after our Aonach Eagach traverse on Tuesday, we headed up to Stob Coire nan Lochain.  Sam and Katya were keen to be on the shape end so they took turns in leading Dorsal Arete with Katya getting the crux over the fins.  As usual there were several other teams on the route but everyone seemed to flow quite nicely.  A couple of teams avoided the just did Dorsal (no cigar for them) but we were joined by about 5 or 6 other teams on the route.
Stand up...
Final belay, Aide on the Arete

The crags were looking great with teams in Twisting Gully, Ordinary Route and some of the easier gullies.  Super blowy on top so we headed straight down Broad Gully which had small accumulations of soft snow and wind slab.
Aide on the arete
An excellent day with freezing level around 700m.  The thaw will have done wonders to Ben Nevis ice, sure it will have stripped things back but I think it will be mega tomorrow and over the weekend!

Lots of folk coming down!

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