That'll be winter back, then! Whilst my day on Skye the other day involved a bit of snow, it certainly wasn't wintry enough to call it winter climbing. Today was different, today, it was most definitely winter climbing!
I was out with Andy, who was game for Tower Ridge in whatever conditions the mountains threw at us, it turned out to be a fantastic (and my first) day of winter climbing. Not bad for the end of October.
The snow on the approach was surprisingly firm underfoot and we geared up in full winter climbing gear at the foot of the East Gully of the Douglas Boulder, which was pleasantly chocked full of snow. A set of footprints from a previous ascent had firmed up the snow in places, enough to take an axe placement at times.
We made good progress up the ridge and soon found ourselves in the meat of the route. The Eastern Traverse was very straight forward in current conditions and the Fallen Block Chimney still needs a lot more snow before it can be climbed on the outside. We both enjoyed every minute of the route, made all the better by not having any wind or precipitation all day.
We descended the mountain path, which has become very compacted over the past few days and definitely warrants the use of crampons.
As we've had quite a bit of wet weather this month, the seepage lines are icing up well, with Point 5, Green, Comb and a number of other drainage lines starting to form. Fingers crossed!
If you would like to chat through your plans for this coming winter❄️, which I hear will be amazing😉, get in touch!