Today I was working with John.
Unfortunately his pal Hugh was ill so had to pull out of the day. John and I headed into the cloud to hunt for snow and we found it! We headed up to the Glencoe Ski slopes and we were very kindly were offered up lift. This helped immensely as the weather forecast seemed to suggest the weather was to deteriorate by late afternoon. It was correct, sheltered form the southerlies and dry most of the day it was very pleasant up at 850m and the summit of Meall a Bhuiridh at 1108m was very atmospheric. With a dusting of new snow the Black Mount looked very dramatic. By 3.30pm the weather had become somewhat nastier and a retreat was called for.
The snow that remains is good and very usable for skills courses. We reached the large snow patches at about 800m and concentrated on cramponing, step cutting, axe arrest and reached the summit for a late lunch. John was pleased with a new tick of a Munro. On the descent we found a very deep area of snow and built some shelters of a variety of styles. Throughout the day we also looked at navigation, including, taking bearings, timing and pacing.
The area over by the Fly Paper run and The Spring run are all complete and pretty firm. The Happy Valley run has continuous snow to the bottom of the Wall Tow. I reckon with a little imagination and graft if you skin up you can ski form the summit to the wall chair on continuous snow!
A really great days work and a very pleasant day with John. Made even better because this morning I thought we would struggle to find snow as good as we did!
We do need a big dump of snow as another few days of these high temperatures and it will all go rapidly. It is forecast, so we live in hope.
Check out Glencoe Mountain's website, they have got allot going on. Tonight there was a really interesting Live Gig by Barry Reid www.spad.org.uk and Fine Art photographic show by www.Jenniferwilcox.co.uk happening there. It is brilliant to see thinking out of the box in these environments! A perfect mix of fine art and the mountains!