Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Beinn Udlaidh Ice Climbing today.

Early evening light.

Hoar crystals were growing through the day.
The main crag of Beinn Udlaidh. Allot of soft snow to plough through in order to get to these routes.

Myself and Liam a fun if pretty cold day!

Nice, but either melting or shattering grade 3 ice bulges, but sound belays!

Today I was out with Liam for his first trip to this fickle mecca of water ice climbing in Scotland. We had a wander into Beinn Udlaidh near the Bridge of Orchy. We arrived at the car park in extremely cold conditions the car was reading -15 degrees. The trees hung heavy with hoar frost and the low sun was slow to penetrate the Glen. As we gained altitude the temperature rose. By the time we were on our route the ice was some what melting. We found brittle ice, with sheets of re-frozen ice on top of hollow soft crud. Not nice and a little unnerving! The ice screw belays were good today I am pleased to say.
There were two other parties out: one on Quartz Vein Scoop, the others on a desperate looking hanging icicles near The Organ pipe walls, well done to whom ever they were, very brave!
I have a couple of days off coming up and then out again on Saturday working on a mountaineering course. The next few days looks like it will be a different world all together, but time will tell! There is a heavy layer of new hoar frost growing due to the cold nights and gentle or no wind at present. There is a thaw due but if it snows on this layer we will see some very high avalanche risks, so take care.
I can't believe it's only early December!