Monday, 15 March 2010

General thaw

Unfortunately, the winter seems to be winding down in Glen Coe for the time being. A general thaw of lying snow up to quite high levels has been proceeding since about Friday, and Aonach Dubh has become correspondingly stripped, as the above photos show. The only winter routes currently complete on Aonach Dubh West Face are gullies 1, 2, and 3 (middle tier only), and 2B Scoop. I observed a waterfall at the crux pitch of No.6 today, although it does seem to have been in condition for a long time this season!

Most of the buttresses are now black, and it seems likely that on a warm day rock-climbing will once again be a possibility on this face, for areas that do not suffer drainage. The East Face tends to have more drainage weeps so will likely be wet for a bit longer, but I recall climbing Quiver Rib in February last year, so who knows?

Winter still prevails on the high mountains, however, and there was a little fresh snow overnight down to about 1000m. I'm not ready to put away my axes and crampons just yet, and still fully plan to be climbing snow and ice routes into May at the very least.

Just a reminder that the Glencoe Mountaineer Facebook Page, linked to the right, is a convenient way of keeping up to date with what's going on. I also tend to post a fair bit of content on there that never makes it to the blog, including photos, so it's well worth joining! Nearly a hundred members have signed up since it was launched three weeks ago, which is a great start.

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