So winter's early arrival was spectacular and fruitful, but sadly short-lived. I ran up the Ben Nevis North Face path this afternoon and the vast majority of the snow has been washed away by the rain and wind of the last few days. The forecast is for colder (but not much colder) weather to return at the weekend but there don't seem to be signals of a return to "proper" winter quite yet.
Not that anyone can complain, it is to be expected this early in the season, but it is always such a tease when you get the first cold snaps at the start of the winter.
And as early cold-snaps go that was a good'un, with many many teams out climbing in quite a few different areas of the Highlands. The Northern Corries sounded to have been the usual circus but there were also folk out climbing in other classic venues such as the Shelterstone, Lochnagar, Coire na Ciste on the Ben and Church Door Buttress in Glencoe.
It's great to see the opportunistic and explorative approach to climbing in action so early in the season with a few new routes climbed already. There was one first ascent a few days back which has impressed a lot of folk, Guy Steven and Mike Late's route "Deliverance" on Sgurr Thealach in the Cuillin…a bold and striking line and very early indeed in the season for a new route to be climbed on Skye.
Hopefully it won't be long until winter returns again, I'll keep you updated.