Wednesday, 3 March 2010
Stob an Fhuarain Reconnaissance Expedition
Extremely calm and still weather today, but a veil of cloud shrouded the sun, warding off the worst of the solar heat. I spent the morning forging a trench through Fionn Ghleann towards the East Face of Stob an Fhuarain, a mountain rarely visited by climbers although it is popular for walkers when combined with Sgor na h-Ulaidh.
On Easterly slopes windslab is limited to isolated pockets, but the going is still tough as above around 200m the drifts are between knee and chest deep. Certain areas, conversely, are completely scoured. After thoroughly examining the cliffs and gaining as much information as I could about the possible lines there, I started up a meandering ice and turf course on the NE Ridge of the mountain.
For anyone who is interested, there seem to be several steep ice lines on the south buttress, but who knows how long they will last given the forecast rise in freezing level.
I finished the day by a rapid 400m glissade down the snow slopes beneath Sgor na h-Ulaidh, taking less than a minute to cover ground that would have taken twenty minutes on foot!
Photos from today