/ What is an early start? Tower Ridge
What is an early start? Just wondering when people say get an early start for Tower Ridge what counts? Is it leave CIC hut at 4am at 5am or as long as before 7. What would you think if you are in the know?
Foot of the route at first light and work back from that.
Avoiding the queues and thus the hold ups I'd want to be on it round about dawn.
Even if you're not the first few at, least you know you've got lots of daylight to complete it.
For a historically authentic Scottish experience then after an early lunch would probably be about right for an early start, say about 1pm.
We're aiming to leave the car park about 5.30-6am on Saturday, hopefully it's the right choice!
What route? If tower ridge (or any popular classic), good chance there could be numerous parties in front of you (forecast looks great).
I like getting up early, I'd be aiming for 4.00/4.30am for tower ridge.
I did it a few weeks ago and it only took us around 6 hours, not sure a 4am start is absolutely necessary?
Aye, with forecast looking decent for Sat and Sun, relatively long daylight and the prospect of easy consolidated conditions, it'll be pure heavin. The majority of the route is safe overtaking territory, but once you're at the Eastern Traverse it'll be time to queue. A moonlit start is recommended!
As Dave said, start of light at ridge. This will invariably change depending on the time of year.
Leaving the Torlundy carpark around 5-5.30 will generally count as early.
The time it takes depends on conditions, style (soloing most of it vs pitching the whole thing) and whether you get held up. In great conditions (neve) and soloing much of it you could be up it fairly quickly, perhaps more so early in the season when you're less likely to get stuck behind folk. Either way, I reckon if you're away from the CIC at first light (just before 7am?) that would be fine. Definitely no point leaving at 4/5am!
climbing in the dark for four hours? rather you than me. theres early, and theres plain masochistic.
Not sure I could deal with a start that early, especially after driving up from Liverpool only a few hours earlier!
Full moon, next ones on Thursday ;-) Hope you're up soon, weather looks mint for Sunday/Monday. Could be good for Cuillin Ridge also I reckon.
Reckon the combo of caving (for the dark) and pike fishing (for the early) has made me a masochist!!
Seriously tho: I'd do almost anything to minimise number of people in front of me.
Enjoy yourself either way. Did Tower Ridge ages ago, mid week in April, no-one else on it. Brilliant.
I probably got lucky but did it in perfect conditions without a standard start in March on a sunday (seem to remember getting on the route about 8 am.). Didn't encounter a party on the route but saw some climbers way behind us on occasion.
Alternative would be to go later - its light until 18.30ish so leaving the car park at 10 or even 11 still allows a daylight ascent - and means you get some decent views to enjoy.
Have a good one, whatever time you decide to start
Start early, everything goes well, finish early. If it goes off-script, still finish in daylight. Things can get so slow when there are many folks faffing around.
High risk but possible if you are very proficient and confident, very late start and move fast and finish before light fades...usually for the very fast/ experienced who can navigate out in dark. If in doubt, not for you!
I would avoid the classics at the weekend. Not always possible, I know!
Depends as well on the type of route you want to climb. Climbing ice, even Scottish gully snice, under other parties is a bad idea for obvious reasons, hence I'll wake up earlier to be first on a route if it's one like that. This has worked for me a couple of times this season.
Something like Tower Ridge, the chances of ice being knocked down on you are minimal, if a party or two are ahead of you unless they are quite slow or you are really fast it shouldn't make too much difference. Even if you get stuck behind someone, it's probably not too bad a route to overtake on.
Lots of folk prefer an early start, however we generally prefer a more relaxed start. Last time we did Tower Ridge I think we were at the base for around 8am (sunny Sunday in mid Feb), did it in good time and back to the car in daylight. Lots of the folk who had left earlier were queuing, as we were walking up to the CIC hut we could see them all higher up on the ridge waiting. Loads of people, like ants. Didn't see another climber on route until we got to the Eastern Traverse, and then only one party ahead of us so just time for a quick sandwich before cracking on with the interesting sections.
We ended up leaving the car park at about 6.30am and it took us about 10.5 hours car to car. After the initial chimney we didn't really see anybody else until we got to the gap. Fantastic day and great conditions, it was well worth the 11 hour round trip!
Kind of depends whether you mean true winter or the or esettled conditions of late winter early spring when its pretty alpine. We usually leave the North Face car park about 0700 and get down to the car in daylight later season. Mid winter you need to be quick to get up and down in daylight - 0800 to 1600 roughly. So I'd say get to the CIC about 0700 and you might have a bit of walking out to do in the dark. Of course depends on being a bit lucky with conditions etc. We once has a totally disasterous epic which saw us leaving the NF car park at 0715, topping out in a white out/blizzard at 1730 and not getting back to the car until 0200 the next morning.
But it is an incredible route.
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