• This topic has 122 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by jimmy.
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  • Any Winter Climbers? (Scotland)
  • Spin
    Free Member

    I haven’t had an adze for years but i can see why you might want one. I like a hammer although with modern curved tools they’re a pain to use. Ive got two hammers on current axes

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Ok, useful.
    On the one hand I don’t want to waste fifty quid. On the other hand I imagine that faced with a need to cut a wee ledge to rest my calves half way up a pitch £500 would seem like a bargain.
    Ditto placing warthogs etc.

    The obvious answer is probably to not buy a totally unsuited tech ice tool like a Nomic for bimbly climbing..,.. ho hum

    Hmmm

    Spin
    Free Member

    The obvious answer is probably to not buy a totally unsuited tech ice tool like a Nomic for bimbly climbing..,.. ho hum

    Have you already bought the Nomics? I had Petzl Quarks for years, loved them and never felt like it was the tools that were holding me back on harder stuff. They come with a proper adze and hammer. I only got rid of mine because they were an older version and you couldn’t get picks anymore.

    Nomics and similar tools are lovely to climb with and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them but they really only come into their own at VI and above I think. Below that grade the lack of hammer/adze, extreme curve and poor plunging performance feels like too much of a compromise.

    Crampons are the same, the more technical designs are poor on less technical ground. I’ve got G12s and G20+ and the former are way nicer to use up to IV and far more secure on the descent.

    Spin
    Free Member

    I’m just going to keep posting, maybe it will encourage others to get out! 😀

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    Spin
    Free Member

    First 3 are Lapland Buttress on Sgurr na Lapaich. The others are Temptress on Ben Wyvis.

    Not a lot of snow about in the NW but more in the gorms.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Have you already bought the Nomics? I had Petzl Quarks for years, loved them and never felt like it was the tools that were holding me back on harder stuff.

    Yes, bought them. But still unused, so could send them back…

    They totally aren’t holding me back in winter. My lack of balls/ talent holds me back. But they were useless dry tooling and I want to do more DT to get more confidence. So figured I should buy them.

    Nomics and similar tools are lovely to climb with and I’m sure you’ll enjoy them but they really only come into their own at VI and above I think. Below that grade the lack of hammer/adze, extreme curve and poor plunging performance feels like too much of a compromise.

    Mmm yep. I’ll give them a try and see what they’re like. I imagine they’re horrible on easy stuff
    I fully get that I’m being a total gear freak here. But if I don’t it’ll just get wasted on bathrooms pension or something…

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Please do keep posting.

    I have some pics from eldest_oab at the weekend out in Coire an t-Sneachda on Saturday, just checking I can share them.

    robola
    Full Member

    I’m just going to keep posting, maybe it will encourage others to get out! 😀

    Please do, I love seeing this stuff!

    Spin
    Free Member

    I have some pics from eldest_oab at the weekend out in Coire an t-Sneachda on Saturday, just checking I can share them.

    Look forward to seeing them.

    Spin
    Free Member

    I imagine they’re horrible on easy stuff

    It depends what you mean by easy stuff. Easier mixed terrain they’ll be fine. Easier snowy/ice/mountaineering they’re less good.

    jimmy
    Full Member

    Blimey 2 years since I started this and I’ve not had the axes out in anger since. Really need to sort it out this winter. If anyone’s after a partner I’m keen. Maybe 29/30th December if conditions any good. 

    Spin
    Free Member

    Today was a bit different to the last few weeks. I’m posting this in the interest of balance and so that everyone doesn’t think its always wall to wall sunshine up here…

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    We were back at the car by lunch time with rucksacks that weighed about twice what they did at the start.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

     I’m posting this in the interest of balance and so that everyone doesn’t think its always wall to wall sunshine up here…

    Has anyone who’s climbed in Scotland, in winter, thought that, ever? 😉

    Spin
    Free Member

    Picknicker on Quinag. Only just white enough but nobody was looking…

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    And a few from Beinn Bhan, not climbing that day, just taking photos, nothing was in nick anyway. Not great in the North-West right now.

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    alex22
    Free Member

    Some great photos on here.  I’ve done a fair bit of winter hillwalking in Wales and the Lakes and some summer climbing but hopefully booking onto a winter climbing course near Aviemore this coming Feb/March to learn some more technical skills.

    Myself and a friend have ambitions to have a go at this before we are fifty:

    https://www.alanarnette.com/climbs/alpamayo.php

    Are we bonkers, or is it an achievable objective for when we are both 50 (in 5 years from now)?

    Spin
    Free Member

    Went to Maoile Lunndaidh yesterday. Despite the crag looking very white and icy the turf wasn’t frozen so we had to abandon our plan A and escape up something easier. Amazing and remote place to climb, and we even rode our bikes!

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    jimmy
    Full Member

    Was meant to be going to Creag Meagaidh on Saturday but my pre-early start insomnia kicked in so had to call it off. Reports for m the weekend sound similar to above, so we didnt at least miss exceptional conditions. Hopefully make the trip in 2 weeks.

    Spin
    Free Member

    Yeah, Meagaidh didn’t sound great. Someone did The Wand but other reports were poor.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Long shot, but anyone looking for a climbing partner Friday -> Sunday 19-21 Jan?

    Thinking of taking Friday off.

    I’m a pretty mediocre ice climber, only done a few grade 4s, and nothing really for a long time. However I’m pretty mountain savvy and honest about my ability.

    Spin
    Free Member

    Long shot, but anyone looking for a climbing partner Friday -> Sunday 19-21 Jan?

    Fingers crossed this cold spell lasts to next weekend. Pretty wild on Cairngorm today but plenty cold.

    Spin
    Free Member

    @thegeneralist have you found a partner? Friday’s forecast is up and while it should still be cold enough its a bit of a stinker otherwise!

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Indeed! Metcheck is forecasting gusts of 71 mph in Ambleside at the weekend!

    And a chunk of snow as well most areas between here ( Manchester) and the Highlands.

    Nope, my mate is free at the weekend but his dog is 14 and can’t be left alone.

    My previous climbing partner just does fell running these days …

    And the missus has decided winter climbing is too cold.

    I may check out Blea Water Ghyll on Friday if I can summon the energy, but I doubt it will be solid enough for a solo mission.

    Spin
    Free Member

    Metcheck is forecasting gusts of 71 mph in Ambleside at the weekend!

    I just looked at the met office and Friday is the best day! I think we’re going to try to do a route on the crags below the Bealach na Ba provided the road is open. Its a day for something with a quick approach and descent. Actually it’s probably a day for the pub but I’m on dry January! 😉

    Spin
    Free Member

    I sacked it for today. Just too much going on with roads/weather/avalanche risk.

    Looks like that’s things fecked for a while, 6 degrees on the Bealach na Ba through the week.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Waheeeey

    In before the floods!

    Well chuffed. First proper winter climb in a decade I think…
    Really enjoyed it.
    Brown Cove on Helvellyn. Lots of spindrift but relatively sheltered from the gales.

    Love the new axes.

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    Spin
    Free Member

    Didn’t see your post Generalist, what route is that? Looks good. Been pretty shit up here, we had a cold and breezy day on the rock at Logie Head today.

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    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    That looks awesome. Praps not your first choice for February, but still…

    I think the pic is Stepped Buttress. Really fun grade 3

    Had a brilliant day today funnily enough. Again, not exactly highland magic but great day scratching around some scabby peak quarry.

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    Did a couple of D6s and failed on a 7

    Spin
    Free Member

    I see the classic winter knee on that Brown Cove route!

    Should we ask the mods to change this to a general climbing thread? Might get a few more folks contributing.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Nah. Just climbing with spikes.
    But by all means we could have a rock thread too

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Ey up.

    Got the weekend free and possibly a couple of days holiday to extend it. Up till yesterday the forecast was looking epic but now not so much.

    Was thinking of maybe some combination of the following, depending on weather/ partners…

    SCnL for a few solos. Had a stunning weekend camped there 30 odd years ago and would like to do a few easy routes.
    Aonach Eagach perhaps, if it gets back in.
    Perhaps some touring with my shiny new touring setup. Assuming the Harscheisen arrive by Thursday.
    Perhaps something on Aonach Mor. Sacrelidge to say but I might contemplate shunting some stuff if nothing else.
    Would love another crack at Savage Slit if I can find a partner.

    So, tell me what you reckon to the forecast…. Is Friday or Monday a better add-on?
    Is the snow going to be iron hard neve for climbing, or dreamy powder for skiing?

    Will SC gully be in nick?

    And last bit not least, tell me if you need a partner.

    PS: @spin since I know he has a life and probably won’t se this until he logs in on Monday to post pictures of him on Dr Deaths’s latest 9 🤩

    dave661350
    Full Member

    Some great photos in this thread, thanks for taking the time to take them while in the mountains and also for posting them on here.
    I’ve done a fair bit of good weather walking/hillwalking but only once in Winter, 1992. Went with 3 ‘experts’ and we started on Ben Nevis. No issues. The next was to do Buchaille Etive Mor. We pakred and walked in and I knew then it wouldn’t be plain sailing, 2 of the 3 ‘experts’ were arguing over who should carry both the map and the guidebook…they didn’t resolve it so we ended up going up the wrong part of the mountain and hit a bit of a snag that they couldn’t get past. A feller climbing behind stopped and we had a quick chat. He laughed when I told him I’d made the mistake of doing my first proper winter climbing trip with 3 ####### idiots. He carried on passed us and pretty much skipped over the icy slab the 3 stooges couldn’t get over. Apparently, it was a chap called Alan Hinkes…meant nothing to me at the time. Bottom line was that we had to abseil off into a gully. I’d never abseiled before. Then they got that rope stuck and used their ‘old rope’ that really should have been cut into 100 parts and binned….we got back to the car at 2130hrs….5 hrs of darkness. I didn’t go with them again for the week but on the Friday, after having been out cycling, got back to find them already back and half cut. They were celebrating getting off a mountain in daylight…a first apparently. I stuck to mountainbiking after that.

    Spin
    Free Member

    Perhaps some touring with my shiny new touring setup. Assuming the Harscheisen arrive by Thursday.

    I’d go even if they don’t arrive, I’ve never felt the need of harscheisen much in Scotland.

    It doesn’t look like there’s much difference between Monday and Friday and MWIS aren’t forecasting much change.

    PS:  @spinsince I know he has a life and probably won’t se this until he logs in on Monday to post pictures of him on Dr Deaths’s latest 9

    That must be some other Spin, 9s are way beyond my pay grade! My winter has actually fizzled out a bit. I’m really focused on getting out on the NW and it’s been really poor there. My wife is away this weekend so I think I’m going to load up the van and disappear for three days bouldering and soloing. Coigach, Torridon, that sort of thing.

    Can’t help you with nick in Glen Coe, haven’t been following what’s happening there at all.

    Have you tried Savage Slit before? It is good but the crux seems to be finding it with no one else on it!

    jimmy
    Full Member

    Planning to be out on Sunday with a pal for something easy, possibly SCNL. Haven’t climbed with him before so slightly loathe to extend an invite formally. If you’re soloing in the area let me know.

    wbo
    Free Member

    Had a 3 day trip to Rjukan last weekend, but I don’t think there’s much of a season left there.  Raining in a lot of sectors and everything with running water.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Seems the same story pretty much everywhere this year.
    Winterhighland forecast not looking promising.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Glenmore Lodge have released a new skills video…

    jimmy
    Full Member

    Well, finally in the lifetime of this thread, I got out and headed for Dorsal Arete to repeat what was my second winter climb 16 years ago. Unfortunately the dubious forecast went the opposite way than expected and closed in  instead of breaking right at the crux. With the very loose conditions it made for a much more intimidating prospect than a grade 2 suggests. We bailed off having already got the hit we both needed from the day. Great fun.

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    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Great That you got out Jimmy, and thanks for the mention earlier. Which bit did you bail on? Dorsal has always struck me as a weird route since the bottom buttress is patently way harder than 2.

    Once again, I bailed due to forecast & distance. Haven’t even bothered pencilling this weekend as a replacement as the weather looks even worse. Hoping to take a couple of days around 22 march, and if not then that’s this “season”over for me as we’re off to ‘,bleau for Easter.

    Had another excellent DT session at Masson Lees on Saturday. Managed to scratch my way up a D7, which was great fun

    Spin
    Free Member

    Dorsal has always struck me as a weird route since the bottom buttress is patently way harder than 2.

    It’s only II if you start it from Broad Guly. The lines tackling the bottom section are recorded as variations up to grade IV I think.

    jimmy
    Full Member

    We bailed at the actual dorsal fin. The “entrance” up on to it wasn’t obvious – or more like in the howling wind by that point it wasn’t appealing, especially having poked by head over the other side. I had a scratch about in the piles of loose snow on the left hand side for a couple delicate moves feeling more like III+ but wasn’t committing to getting on top a cheval at that point.

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