Reports - winter conditions and activity

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New Blog and Website

We now have a new website at Mountain Circles

Our new Blog will be updated with all the usual information at Mountain Circles Blog

I'll leave this Blog on-line as an archive but will now put all updates, news and winter condition reports through the new Blog only.

For a printer friendly and updated version of the guide notes for The Works Dry-tooling Venue, see our Resources section on the new website where it is included as a Pdf to download, see Resources Section - Mountain Circles

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Curved Ridge and Crowberry Tower, Buachaille 21-01-14

Great day on Curved Ridge today... Plenty of wind and snow above 500m, some accumulation in Coire na-tuillach but still OK.  Shelf Route was also climbed today.  Good hard snow and winter condition throughout on Curved Ridge.  We took a short diversion onto the Crowberry Tower also.

Definitely winter today and looking colder tomorrow and a bit more settled.

 Crux of Curved Ridge

 Gaining the Crowberry Tower

 Rannoch Wall behind

Snow bollard practice into Coire na-tuillach

Monday, January 20, 2014

SCNL 20-01-14 Mountaineering Course

We had a great day 1 to a 5 day winter mountaineering course today in Lochan, perfect snow and weather for it.

Looked over snow bollards, bucket seats, buried axe and simple pitches..

Many routes looked good despite the freeze line being around the summit.  Scabbard, Dorsal, Twisting, SC and Central Buttress Ordinary route all climbed..  The Unicorn looked white if anyone's been waiting for that and other steeper routes in that area in particular.

Colder tomorrow which should help improve conditions a bit as well.

 Abb from Bollard

 Dorsal Arete etc..

Central Buttress Area

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Ben Nevis, Ledge Route 09-01-14

Great day on the Ben today, freeze line was down last night so damp snow was generally solid. Lots of snow cover, we did Ledge Route looking at some mountaineering rope-work. Teams on various routes, Green Gully I think, some routes on the Douglas Boulder climbed, Tower Ridge etc. Loads to go at if the freeze line stays down, harder mixed routes looking good as well...

 Douglas Boulder

 No.5 Gully debris!

 The Comb, notice big crown wall down and right...

Ledge Route

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

SCNL 08-01-14

Big depth of snow in Lochan today, all needs good freeze then many routes will be good fairly quickly... We did Dorsal Arete which was good, Scabbard Chimney climbed also today.  One team bailed off Central Ordinary Route perhaps due to unfrozen turf...  No one else in the Corrie today.

Looks a bit colder tomorrow and weekend so could be worth a look?!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Island Peak and Ama Dablam, Nepal

I have recently returned from a great work trip to Nepal expedition leading for  We flew into Kathmandu and then travelled up the Khumbu valley to climb Island Peak (6189m) and then on to Ama Dablam (6856m).  Island Peak gave a great climb as did Ama Dablam, however due to some very heavy late snow fall we couldn't summit Ama Dablam, we had a relatively short time slot and the fixing of ropes and finding good snow anchors was the issue.  None the less we had a great trip and enjoyed summiting Island Peak and some great mountaineering up to the camp 2 area on Ama Dablam, as well as all the great trekking between and Nepali culture.

Arriving at Island Peak summit (6189m)

First daylight on Island Peak summit day

Lhotse South Face above...

Bridge on route to Namche

First glimpse of Ama Dablam!

Good to meet the owners of the Sherpa Adventure Gear store in Namche

Everest left and Ama Dablam on right

Lhotse South Face memorial

Yaks to Island Peak BC

The Holy bird

Early start on Island Peak

Upper glacier on Island Peak

Island Peak summit

Lakpa Sherpa tells us about his attempt on Lhotse South Face (behind)

Summit ridge of Island Peak, Ama Dablam north ridge behind

The infamous Yeti skull and hand at Monastery in Pangboche Upper (allegedly) 

Carving in Monastery

Prayer wheels

Ama Dablam from BC

Jumar practice on the boulder near Ama Dablam BC

Mule loads arrive (not on little one)

On way to Ama ABC

Yak camp, or ABC, on Ama

My photos ended at this point when my camera took the quick way off from the camp 1 fixed ropes!

This is a shot I took of camp 2 from a previous expedition though and is around this years highpoint for our team...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Climbing, Gorges, Abseiling and Media...

We've had a variety of great courses running recently from private guiding on some of the Lake Districts classic mountain rock climbs, instructional scrambling courses and multi activity group events...

The last few days we were joined by Steve from who has been putting together some great movies using various innovative filming techniques including a drone (remote helicopter) with camera attached.  The main aim is to produce incredibly fast turn around films for presentations after events or for promotional purposes as well as delivering aerial shots from unique angles, something that could be useful to a range of customers... have a look at their site using the above link.

Here are some stills from the group Steve joined us with over the last few days...

Church Beck

Cathedral Quarry

Langdale Climbing