Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The waiting game (posted by James)

Sometimes, being a winter climber in Scotland can require the patience of a saint.

For a variety of reasons, I haven't done any climbing since I went up a very lean NC Gully in Glencoe on the 30th December. Around New Year I simply had no time…working a Hogmanay at the Clachaig Inn is tremendous fun, but it is hard work!

Then a fresh dump of snow, so a wait for things to settle down before trying climbing again. As soon as conditions improved, I fell sick for a few days and felt the worst I can remember for two years. I spent the days forlornly looking out my window at the mountains feeling sorry for myself, seeing dozens of winter climbers walking through the Clachaig's door having come down off the hill.

Now I'm recovered, and itching to get on the hill. Today was a stunningly beautiful day in Glencoe, the hills totally buried in snow, but I've been working all morning.

However avalanche risk is the highest it's been all winter at the moment. A few minor thaws and refreezes would leave the hills in superb condition, but by the look of all the forecasts it's not to be.

A big thaw is on the way, and the weather is set to be wet, windy and mild for the next week. Now I have the time and energy to climb, it looks like I'll be waiting for a good few days yet. No doubt you'll find me moping around the Clachaig staring out the windows for the next few days....

I suppose the way to see it is that once conditions finally improve, the reward will be worth the long wait!

1 comment:

  1. Just think of it as good training for when you will be sitting in a tent for days waiting for a weather window for a summit push on K2. Just warmer with the possabilty of beer and good food.