First proper thaw of winter

Ken: We’ve had a couple of temperature blips this season, but nothing so far that could be described as a proper thaw. That was until today.  The day started off dry and cold, but quickly deteriorated, with the freezing levels shooting up above the summits and plenty of rain. That said, it did nothing to knock our teams’ enthusiasm!

I was out with our Winter Mountaineering team, and we headed up to Stob Coire nan Lochan, where we spent some time developing Giles, Paul and Dave’s mountaineering toolboxes, with various snow anchors, a recap on ice axe arrests and abseiling down the steeper steps on the Zig-Zags of Gearr Aonach.

Steve was also in Glencoe, with Neil. They snatched an ascent of No. 6 Gully on Aonach Dubh. The ice was in good condition for axes and ice screws, if a little stepped out (unsurprisingly given the recent conditions). It gave Neil a great introduction to grade IV ice.

Despite the thaw, the more established ice climbs will last until the temperatures drop again as the weekend rolls in. The mid-range forecast is looking excellent, and there’s not really any sign of winter letting go of its grip just yet!

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