Think about it:
Second Covid wave. Travel restrictions, especially in Scotland. Club huts closed. Private accommodation all booked up or else gone bust.
Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!
I dont want to think about it. 😱
Isn't it about time for the daily express 'worst winter ever with months of below freezing temps coming our way' headlines.
Usually within the next fortnight, mid to end of Sept.
> Think about it:
> Second Covid wave. Travel restrictions, especially in Scotland. Club huts closed. Private accommodation all booked up or else gone bust.
> Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!
Don't you dare! I've sold my van.......
I imagine they're currently trying to induce panic about the upcoming good weather - give 'em a week or 2
Of course it will be, don't forget the superb weather at the start of lockdown. Perfect Ben ice days followed by perfect Ben rock day's.
You know it is coming, deep breath, tough it out.
If you are one of the lucky ones who has accrued significant lockdown savings through not doing anything, you can always book hotels.
> Isn't it about time for the daily express 'worst winter ever with months of below freezing temps coming our way' headlines.
I think it was the Express reporter that asked Nicola Sturgeon yesterday what she was going to do about "not having enough gritters because of covid", or something along those lines. So they're clearly gearing up to press go on their annual headline.
> Isn't it about time for the daily express 'worst winter ever with months of below freezing temps coming our way' headlines.
Only using degrees Celsius for seasonally cold weather, sorry, "DEEP FREEZE FROM SIBERIA" then reverting back to their preferred degrees Fahrenheit for a nice summers day / "94° SUMMER SCORCHER".
Normally followed by stating it's colder / hotter than Norway / Ibiza for a highly selective time period.
Accommodation is not the main issue, there will be something out there and I’ve got a van with a heater anyway. I think travel restrictions and potentially (un)official curbs on ‘risky’ activities will be the real problems.
The signs are certainly encouraging: I made a winter ascent of Kinder Downfall, last weekend.
That is a good point. I had blindly assumed the huts would be open by then. They clearly will not be. Fortunately you have a van. You need to start a booking process to use it and get used to sharing it!
I doubt he'll let disease ridden Mancunians in in though........ We'll be locked down all winter at this rate!
I expect problems will arise with using the North face car park and other popular spots.
Might be worth join FW golf club. 🤔
i'm trying to see if it is possible to plan a scotland trip this winter for 4 of us (all seperate households, all south of the border if that matters!). i think it could be possible if we effectively break it down into two trips of two people each - seperate accomodation (different rooms at same place). that way we are within 2 houshold limit, but could climb adjacent routes, have dinner on adjacent tables in the pub etc
car share i'm not sure about yet, may need to be in two cars. advice doesn't seem to state specifically that 2 HH limit applies but probably it does and i just haven't found it yet.
anyone else thinking about scotland winter trips also? obviously not going to be pushing grades, just some easy bimbles and only if we can be compliant with government regs.
Just thought you would cheer all us southerners up ahy.
I'm sure many, like myself, had been planning to get up to Scotland for the end of last winter season, all cancelled as COVID hit. Not looking any more likely this season. Lets just hope the Brecon Beacons are snow bound this winter.
so why do you not think possible this coming season? under regulations coming in from monday i do think two people can travel/stay/climb together (i think two households requirement is the limiting factor).
The plan was for my son to come over from NZ and for us both to climb. I could go on my own, but it's not quite the same. I am also not comfortable with staying in accommodation at present, what ever the rules say. COVID has killed more than enough people my age already. My wife works in a Nursing home, which effects my view on this.
The Brecon Beacons I can simply drive there and back from Cornwall, for day trips, when the web cam and forecast show good walking climbing conditions are likely. Requires far less pre planning and no need for any accommodation. Bring on the snow.
You can't expect winter climbers to stick to restrictions if ephemeral routes are in, that's above and beyond the call of duty. I'm sure Nicola would understand me breaking the rules to tick Snoopy or such like.
As long as its "specific and limited", it's all right, isn't it...?
> Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!
I think you may be describing March/April this year so Sod's law has already been applied.
This coming season will simply be excellent albeit with 80s style boulder dossing.
Well apparently Brummies are even more disease ridden...
The OP is of course tongue in cheek, as is your comment, but I think there are serious points there. There are likely to be some forms of restriction imposed in some parts of the country over the coming months. It might be on and off, though I suspect more on than off. A full lockdown is possible but I think not likely for various reasons.
The climbing community by and large respected the original lockdown restrictions. Will that happen again? I'm sure many people will respect any new restrictions but many won't (I'm talking specifically about restrictions on climbing and being able to travel to get to the crags).
As an example, from Tuesday people in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell (but not the rest of the Black Country - yet) will not be allowed to socialise with other households. Haven't seen the regs yet, so not sure what 'socialise' means but I imagine it would include outdoor sport. Also not sure if that means we shouldn't 'socialise' with people from outside the area but I imagine it does (most of my climbing partners are from other parts of the country). So that would mean the only forms of climbing for me would be bouldering, shunting or soloing.
The reality is that I'm working from home and, although the office is opening one day a week from next week, I've said I won't be going in for the foreseeable future. My only contact with other people in Birmingham will be at the wall and at supermarket and those risks can be managed to a low level. So realistically it's unlikely (thought not impossible) that I'd get Covid locally. Therefore I'm going to continue climbing with other people (if they're happy to do that) - it's only a handful of people in total and I only climb with one or two at the same time, so my climbing / social bubble is pretty small. I would probably be breaking the rules but I'm ok with that as I think the Covid risk is low given it's a small 'bubble' and particularly where both I and my partner are working from home.
Besides, climbing is essential for my mental health. We're going into the autumn and winter months and, like many, I will need the psychological benefits which climbing provides - more so than during the lockdown. I'm perfectly happy to give up on general 'socialising' (I don't do much of that anyway) but I won't give up on climbing. I think many people will be in the same boat.
There is also a sense that people's sacrifices in the lockdown have been wasted through government incompetence and some people not adhering to the rules (I know that sounds hypocritical given I've just said I'm happy to break the new restrictions but what I mean is people having raves and things like that). So now I'm less inclined to follow the rules to the letter. I'm very happy to wear a face mask in a shop, not go to pubs or restaurants, not go to the office and generally avoid people except when climbing. But I won't give up climbing - not this time.
This is my current view on the matter. If Covid gets really bad, I may well reconsider but, for the time being, I'm going to continue making the most of opportunities to climb both indoors and out.
Well, on the plus side not being able to do trips up North saved on a load of driving - CO2, time, money... I was in the Alps when the (French) lockdown happened and was planning to do some big North Faces - Droites, Eiger, that kind of stuff. The weather and avalanche conditions were good and the climbing conditions were ok - a very rare combination these days. Ah well... there's always the year after next. Hopefully by this time next year a safe and effective vaccine will be widely available so that life could go back to more or less normal. We shall see... (Or Boris's 10m a day rapid spit tests - ha!)
Edit - the announcement has been updated to say that the household restrictions which will come into force next Tuesday will not affect the hospitality sector. F*cking ridiculous! I get that pubs etc are meant to have measures in place to reduce the risk of spread between different groups but when people are sat at the same table there is no mitigation whatsoever. Just goes to show, forget the pub and go climbing instead...
I would spend as much if not more on fuel and coffees for a day / weekend trip as I would if were to have a pub meal and a pint - so do climbing trips count as supporting the economy? Higher tax take at any rate, given the level of fuel duty...
knew I'ld get you joining a golf club eventually!
I haven't gone searching for English restrictions, but in Scotland the 2 household limit does not apply to exercise or organised sport. 4 other households for exercise and even more for organised sport. Might be something similar for you guys
Sensible. Although I wonder about risk of transmission in contact sports like football and martial arts. Not the contact itself but the heavy breathing.
The rule of six isn’t an issue for climbing anyway (well it might be at Stanage Popular or on the Malham Catwalk!). The bigger issue is the new Birmingham rules about no contact with non household people (apart from at the pub, which is apparently ok!!!). It’s not yet clear I’d there will be an outdoor sport exemption.
If we're lucky, the border will be closed and us Scots can have it all to ourselves.
Could always build a wall , apparently the foundations were put in around AD 122 so should still be solid enough
> in Scotland the 2 household limit does not apply to exercise or organised sport. 4 other households for exercise >
Great! Thanks for this; they've never once mentioned this on the radio or TV. There was me thinking I'd have to start breaking the rules again...
I’m assuming the 2 household limit will apply to accommodation though - so more than two people and you can’t for instance stay in a self catering place that would normally accommodate say 4 people. Instead you’d need two such places. Anyone know if that’s correct?
Obviously if you can meet another household at the pub, you'll be able to meet them to go climbing (as long as you don't travel out with the area if not permitted).
> Obviously if you can meet another household at the pub, you'll be able to meet them to go climbing
I'm not sure that is obvious!
It is the tail end of a deep solar minimum...
Why? Being able to meet up socially indoors but not outdoors makes no sense whatsoever.
> when people are sat at the same table there is no mitigation whatsoever. >
Depends how big the table is
> Why? Being able to meet up socially indoors but not outdoors makes no sense whatsoever.
I hope you're right but not all the restrictions have made sense in that way and it's not simply a case of activity A is allowed so activity B must be too.
> I’m assuming the 2 household limit will apply to accommodation though - so more than two people and you can’t for instance stay in a self catering place that would normally accommodate say 4 people. Instead you’d need two such places. Anyone know if that’s correct?
I would also presume this, not seen anything either way
There appear to be four levels of restrictions in England alone:
1. General restrictions that apply to every household in England;
2. The additional restrictions that apply to Greater Manchester (except Wigan) and other areas where you cannot socialise in another persons house or garden and only in pubs and restaurants in household (or bubble) groups unless outside.
3. Additional measures in Oldham and perhaps other areas where you cannot socialise with anyone outside your household group (or bubble) so that extends to sport, walks in the park and beer gardens etc.
4. Even more additional measures in Bolton, not 100% sure what these are.
It is not clear to me if Birmingham will be in 2 or 3.
You may get your wish - but it would probably come with internal travel restrictions. Nicola has been stricter for longer in that regard compared to Boris and it will probably happen again. It sort of worked for a while with hardly any cases but the Covid genie is out of the bottle again now. Whether that’s due to Scottish people going on overseas holidays or people coming over from Englandshire or an upsurge of latent ‘local’ cases, who knows - probably all of the above.
> Obviously if you can meet another household at the pub, you'll be able to meet them to go climbing (as long as you don't travel out with the area if not permitted).
Not seen the rules yet but I suspect this is not the case. Pubs are driving the economy apparently so that’s ok.
There are no travel restrictions in the UK as far as I know, apart from Carephilly. Yet.
> Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!
Local farmers etc reporting here that swallows are leaving at least a month early. Probably cooler weather and lack of flies will send them away, as swallows like crows can't necessarily predict the future.
Brum (plus Sandwell and Solihull) is different again it seems. No ‘socialising’ with non household / support bubble, except in hospitality venues. Not yet clear wait ‘socialising’ means.
Bolton is pubs closed at 10pm I tho k and take away only in restaurants. This is actually sensible.
Arguably they should shut the pubs and extend furlough for them but would that drive people to socialise more at home, which might be worse?
One thing is clear, it’s chaotic and there is no strategy. We need to have several levels of restrictions which would be imposed locally as required but the restrictions at each level would be the same everywhere (E, W and S or at least E; NI should align with RoI). But... politics. Boris has recognised that it’s confusing and introduced the rule of six but the issue is that the next level of restrictions is already required in various places and that’s where the confusion lies. The powers that be are one step behind, as they have been all year. We are f*cked! Again.
Or they’re fleeing avian flu.
> There are no travel restrictions in the UK as far as I know, apart from Carephilly. Yet.
I find that surprising. When Aberdeen had a local lockdown you weren't meant to travel to the city or residents to travel out of it, except for work in both cases.
I’d say my prediction of no winter climbing may well come to pass... and it’s a La Niña year so conditions could be good.
Maybe the Peak District National Park authorities could be pursued Ed to install a drag lift on Mam Tor in preparation
> ... ... 80s style boulder dossing.
My normal style.
Looking like first significant snowfall of the winter in Scotland second half of next week. Interestingly second half of November often produces snow up here in northwest Highlands looking back through my hill log for the past few years..
I guess Scottish winter warriors can get out. Sassenachs aren’t allowed to stay overnight so that’s that and I bet that won’t change for a while. Whereas the Welsh can’t even leave Wales. NI is still in lockdown and the Republic has a 5k travel limit. It’s starting well - and it’s still only November...
Here we go, no travel to or from Scotland and no travel to or from Scottish T4 areas (not sure about T3). The locals will have the crags to themselves this winter...
Someone at work mentioned he’s gone from London back home to his parents in Edinburgh as there’s no proper lockdown there and the gyms are still open. Whether that remains the case is another question.
Winter today in the northwest Highlands. Out in the Fannichs on Sgurr nan Clach Geala and Sgurr Mor. Snow above 750 metres ,heavy prolonged showers and strong westerly with much spindrift. Verglas on rocks meant a wary tread in places. Drifting to over 12 inches in places on northeast ridge of Sgurr nan Clach Geala. No other walkers/climbers around.
If I wasn't local, there's certainly routes I'd take a £60 fine and slap on the wrist for. Scratching around in the Northern Corries early season? Not so keen...
Each to their own but I'm not keen on breaking rules, if the rules are clear (I'm happy to do day trips for climbing during the current lockdown in England but my interpretation is that this is permitted as there is no law which actually says you can't; whereas staying away from home and crossing the border aren't permitted and that's clear). Besides, it's not the £60 fine and telling off, more the idea of breaking clear rules and being seen to break clear rules by locals (I imagine the van will be fairly conspicuous to locals). As for the enforcement side, again it's not so much the £60 fine as the idea of being told to turn around after driving 400 miles!
With the vaccine on the way next year, hopefully things will be back to more or less normal by the 2021/22 season. I'm happy to give it a miss this year if that's what the rules dictate. Even if it's the best season ever... which is unlikely, to be fair. Having said that, there's some hope that the restrictions will be eased by Easter, so if we get a decent Ben ice season there will be some hope, though the crowds would be an issue... We shall see.
On past experience any prospect of the best winter ever will evaporate the day I fit my winter tyres
Appreciate the response and hope many will follow suit of what you've said (I doubt it), but my comment was firmly tongue in cheek.
Here's hoping all can enjoy the ice up high towards the end of the season.
This is a good point. I’ve been wondering whether to bother fitting mine this year.
Winter's arrived. Snowing down to 250 metres today in Torridon with more to come and a week of low temperatures coming up.
Once we've all had the vaccine the weather will turn crap for the rest of the year!
> Once we've all had the vaccine the weather will turn crap for the rest of the year!
Unlikely, I think we're set for months of perfect conditions. You can all thank me for injuring my knee!
A promising start for early season mixed. Not particularly early but seems decent. Now soggy but it’s still early days. Last year started off well and turned out to be rubbish. Could we see a repeat?
Covid and travel restrictions in full blast unfortunately, which was entirely predictable. Not holding out much hope of getting any winter stuff done and haven’t been since the pandemic started.
First world problems. Big saving on my CO2 emissions...
Seems to have been a decent start to the season.
All round lockdown for the foreseeable.
Bound to be best season ever!
The ice is going to be magnetic for the next month and we're under house arrest unless going to work. If you walk to your ice fall is it allowed?
You got be creative about it. If i pay you to belay me in the first pitch of a route and you pay me to belay you in the second then we will both be working doing a job we can't do working from home.
You insane icicle climbers are in for a good time. La Niña is on your side this year:
Have a good one.
> Bound to be best season ever!
The ice will probably be in great condition as no one will be hacking it to bits.
"Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen."
I suppose so but don’t get injured or avalanched...
And the usually dire festive season actually turned out pretty decent. Again, must be something to do with sod's law!
> All round lockdown for the foreseeable.
Based on a quick scan the new Scottish regulations still allow travel for outdoor exercise with one other person up to 5 miles outside your local authority.
I expect quite a few people will continue to climb on that basis as they were already and it really hasn't changed much.
If we get a beast from the east the guide book suggests there is a 40m IV 4 ice fall in a quarry and a II and a III and potentially a lot of new mixed stuff to do within walking distance.
Not climbing something could kill me so it would be in the interests of safety.
Wouldn't that rule out most of the Scottish population from winter climbing? That's not necessarily the same as most of the Scottish climbing population but still the numbers will be much reduced. Whether it's appropriate to continue to do what is a pretty dangerous activity at a time when the NHS is under greater strain than at any point since the start of the pandemic is another question...
> Wouldn't that rule out most of the Scottish population from winter climbing? That's not necessarily the same as most of the Scottish climbing population but still the numbers will be much reduced. Whether it's appropriate to continue to do what is a pretty dangerous activity at a time when the NHS is under greater strain than at any point since the start of the pandemic is another question...
The problem for many of us, although in law we can travel throughout the Highlands, is it is no longer as simple as it used to be. At the beginning of December I lived in an area with less than 3 cases per 100000. The whole Highlands was less than 10. Just before Christmas we were less than 20. Now in the whole Highlands it is 250ish, this may not be a lot compared to other areas but it conceals stark local differences. In some areas it is 400+ others less than 3. Broadly speaking east v west. Now if I go to the west coast or Skye from Inverness I am quite clearly going from an area of high infection to low. Lawfully I can do it but should I?
I must admit I am torn.
> Wouldn't that rule out most of the Scottish population from winter climbing?
From what I can see, MRT members and Police are out there in the hills walking and climbing and mountain guides are working... This doesn't mean it's OK but it's a reasonable indicator
I think you've had it good for far longer than the rest of us in Scotland, in terms of freedom to continue hill activities. This seemed acceptable pre Christmas, with Highland Council's low level of cases, although I can't deny I felt jealous.
I really feel you guys now have to accept it's moved into a more serious situation and the onus should be on staying local. Conserving NHS capacity and resources must be the main objective. Maybe they should bring back the old shires in the Highlands for defining a person's locality.
Frustrated, from the central belt.
(Happy New Year Rodger)
I think the old shires would be a very good idea. It would give clarity. Personally I packed it last Monday but the temptation is still there.
Happy New Year Iain.
Indeed. As with climbing, just because you could doesn't mean you should...
Not sure there are many mountain guides working this winter... The ones who can get out seem to be just getting out with their mates.
Now where's that turbothaw when you really need it...
I agree and that’s what we will be doing ourselves. Let the numbers do the decision not the interpretation of the rules.
Bummer has the conditions are getting to be very good EVEN for weekend warriors.
That said I see no problem with folk from Aviemore skinning up Cairngorms or folks from The Fort nipping up a III/IV on the Ben!
édit missing capitals
> Not sure there are many mountain guides working this winter... The ones who can get out seem to be just getting out with their mates.
We're hiring one
Well, what can I say... I rest my case and it's only mid-February!
Prediction for next winter: not many restrictions left other than face masks and SD in shops etc, with a succession of turbothaws and 15C in February like in 2019.
To be honest, I quite enjoyed my late Feb Scotland trip in 2019. No rain or midges and sunny skies? Yes please! Who cares if the points didn't get much of a run out.
> Well, what can I say... I rest my case and it's only mid-February!
> Prediction for next winter: not many restrictions left other than face masks and SD in shops etc, with a succession of turbothaws and 15C in February like in 2019.
Best for skiing for sure. That maybe the enthusiasm of the recently converted with local skiing.
Those I know who are climbing tell me that the turf is dehydrated, the ice brittle and the crags buried. I am not completely convinced. They may just be being nice and trying to reduce fomo.
Next winter will be even better with appropriate brief thaws and much gentler winds.
> Those I know who are climbing tell me that the turf is dehydrated,
Hence the wild fires on Benbecula and Skye and elsewhere! Heard the Western Isles fire chief being interviewed on Radio 4 last night.
Yeah it's frozen solid out here on the western coastal fringe, but also dry as a bone. An odd combination. The snow on the hills looks spectacular but could really do with a good thaw/freeze to firm up, a lot of it isn't much use for anything unless you're skiing (sadly, not something I'm equipped for). Still I can't fault the weather, these blue sky days are getting almost routine (soon to change)
Brittle ice I can believe as it’s been cold but it’s all relative. If people are used to usual Scottish snow ice and plastic water ice then yeah it will feel nasty. However brittle isn’t unusual in the Alps so just have to take care. I suspect there’s all sorts of rare icy stuff forming - anything based on water ice / seepage. I wouldn’t be bothering with the mixed right now and seeking out the rare icy gems instead (hypothetically). That said, I’ve not paid attention to conditions at all.
Might not be all time all round but I’d take cold with nice weather over a turbothaw every time...
Yes, I'd have thought rarely formed low-lying ice would be the ticket at the moment rather than high mountain stuff.
About to take the skis out for a spin! 😃 For a winter to be kept at home, it's a cracker!
Things are frozen round here that I have not seen frozen since the Winter of Content (1995-6)
it is 10 years since we walked across to the island with the house on Derwentwater and other people walked to Keswick from Portinscale over the ice!
> Best for skiing for sure. That maybe the enthusiasm of the recently converted with local skiing.
> Those I know who are climbing tell me that the turf is dehydrated, the ice brittle and the crags buried. I am not completely convinced. They may just be being nice and trying to reduce fomo.
I've been struck at the East to West difference in snow cover this year with the East getting more snow than the West, at least from what I can see from Edinburgh. There must be a part of the Highlands, possibly west/central at the right height where conditions are great.
> About to take the skis out for a spin! 😃 For a winter to be kept at home, it's a cracker!
Have a good time. Quite a few people skiing - and others, including me, cramponing - on the high Ochils yesterday. Excellent fun. Western slopes are loaded - although will need watching in due course, as there's been a report of an avalanche on the west side of Blairdenon and I can imagine other similar slopes will be vulnerable once the milder air arrives.
Something must be going right, Elliot's Downfall has touched down and got an ascent the other day.
This amount of snow augurs well (touch wood) for later season ice/neve routes by which time we may be allowed out.
First photo (taken Thursday) shows a vertical wall which must be at least ten feet high on the SW side of Ben Cleuch. It seemed to be a strange windblown feature rather than an avalanche site I think. Second photo, taken yesterday from Innerdownie, shows a lone skier lost in the vastness of the Ochil snowfields. Third and fourth photo are of trees on Innerdownie.
> First photo (taken Thursday) shows a vertical wall which must be at least ten feet high on the SW side of Ben Cleuch. It seemed to be a strange windblown feature rather than an avalanche site I think. Second photo, taken yesterday from Innerdownie, shows a lone skier lost in the vastness of the Ochil snowfields. Third and fourth photo are of trees on Innerdownie.
Lovely pictures. Is the wall of snow on Ben Cleuch at the top of the slope above the Daiglen? That steepens more than tends to be realised from afar but is very noticeable if one does the unfashionable thing of slogging up direct to Cleuch from the depths of the glen. It's home to the regular spring feature known locally as Lady Alva's Necklace - a broken chain of old snow patches across the top of that slope, very visible from Alloa etc.
Yesterday I had white room-type stuff on the final approach to Cleuch, very milky/blank, couldn't see much but it was very enjoyable and atmospheric. The normal easy navigation thing of following the fences doesn't really work when the fences are buried up to their top posts! At one point on the final approach I realised I'd strayed too far left and walked over the top of the fence without noticing. Was easier on the way back as the cloudbase nudged above the plateau - just a few feet, literally, but enough to see what was what. The Innerdownie pics are lovely too. I've not been there as yet this year due to the travel restrictions - have managed Whitewisp from a Tillicoultry start but didn't push on any further. Must do so soon - and it'll be a great day when Stirling folk can drive along to Dollar and round to Glen Devon again. Oddly I've also not yet been on Blairdenon this year either, despite it being the nearest of the 2000ers to Stirling - have had one attempt which ended in a bleak-weather retreat from Glentye Hill. So the stats are even more lopsided than usual: thus far this year it's zero for both of the end tops but 12 for Ben Cleuch, 11 for Ben Ever, fours and fives for the middle bunch and also that one foray over Tarmangie and Whitewisp. Amazing conditions generally, so the standard central loops haven't felt at all restricting given how different and interesting it is each time. (Yesterday was my first time up Cleuch in boots - rather than Mudclaws - for a long time, possibly almost a decade, must try and check.)
You have definitely got to feel for the operators....
> Lovely pictures. Is the wall of snow on Ben Cleuch at the top of the slope above the Daiglen?
Yes, that is it. Quite long stretches of the fence up from the Ben Ever col are completely buried, but just poking out at the summit.
> Yes, that is it. Quite long stretches of the fence up from the Ben Ever col are completely buried, but just poking out at the summit.
Thought so, ta. Have you been on the Law recently and seen the amazing 2m-high fin of snow on the summit, easily overtopping the cairn? Might be even higher by now - it was Sunday when I was last there. Is sort of like a vertical cornice.
Suspect there'll be avalanches on some of the Ochil slopes next week - eg I wouldn't go into the Daiglen just now, and the big western flanks of Ben Buck and Ben Ever will need watching. Plus Whitewisp has long had a reputation.
> Have you been on the Law recently and seen the amazing 2m-high fin of snow on the summit, easily overtopping the cairn? Might be even higher by now - it was Sunday when I was last there. Is sort of like a vertical cornice.
Not been for a couple of weeks. I can only imagine it will have grown!
> Suspect there'll be avalanches on some of the Ochil slopes next week - eg I wouldn't go into the Daiglen just now, and the big western flanks of Ben Buck and Ben Ever will need watching. Plus Whitewisp has long had a reputation.
On Thursday we skied up the Silver Glen then up the west slopes of Ben Buck. Huge drifts obliterating the track below Ben Ever, so I imagine the slopes are really loaded. I can't see the gentle slopes on Ben Buck being a problem. Whitewisp certainly loaded and corniced.
> On Thursday we skied up the Silver Glen then up the west slopes of Ben Buck. Huge drifts obliterating the track below Ben Ever, so I imagine the slopes are really loaded. I can't see the gentle slopes on Ben Buck being a problem. Whitewisp certainly loaded and corniced.
Yes, can imagine that - yesterday I just went up the spur to the ridge direct from the Silver Glen (and later reversed it as I bumped into a pal and kept him company on descent), but I often carry on up the track to the top gate then go to the Ever/Cleuch col by the fence. I'm wary of being below that Ben Ever slope on the section before the top gate, though - have never seen it properly go but have seen a few bits of debris over the years. A chap I know in Tilli who has also been on the Ochils a lot over the years is very wary of somewhere on the east flank of Colsnaur - he's seen that go and he reckons it's at just the right angle. As you'll know, Ochil avalanches tend to be full-depth ones - the whole damn lot sliding off steep sheep-nibbled grass. The bare patches left behind look really weird afterwards - windows of green amid big snowy slopes.
> As you'll know, Ochil avalanches tend to be full-depth ones - the whole damn lot sliding off steep sheep-nibbled grass.
There was one on Bank Hill overlookng Dollar a few years ago. The ones recently in the Pentlands have also been full depth. However, I would have thought that windslab could be a risk at the moment.
> However, I would have thought that windslab could be a risk at the moment.
Yes, could well be - or simply cornice collapse-type stuff. Suspect we'll find out in a few days' time...
Yes, pretty stunning in the Ochils just now. I'm waiting in the van at Sherrifmuir at the moment for my poor husband to walk back down carrying his broken ski 😕 we were almost at the top of Meikle Corum when the front bit of his binding snapped off. I had a lovely ski back down! Loads of snow though and cracking wind patterns in it!
A very strong, cold easterly all week in south Snowdonia. Hardly any snow and the ice has been slow to form - as if any seepage was frozen at source,. The big waterfalls have formed over the last couple of days but look likely to vanish soon with rain and temperatures reaching double figures.
Maesglasau Falls this morning. (work!)
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...
A proposal to establish a Galloway National Park was discussed in the Scottish Parliament after MSP Emma Harper secured a debate on the issue. Campaigners for the idea are keen, but not everyone is convinced.