Happy New Year to you all! Andy and I have been out with a small team from the University of Limerick, building on their winter mountaineering and climbing. We kicked things off with a day on Curved Ridge in Glencoe yesterday, looking at moving safely and efficiently on a rocky ridge, as well as safeguarding less experienced mountaineering.
Today, we headed up Ben Nevis, with a fairly open plan, but were drawn to No. 2 Gully, which although a bit lean, was complete, quite icy and sported some good climbing at around grade III. A bit of care is required on the crux step, which as you can see from the photo, isn't exactly fat, but very much climbable, and took a couple of ice screws to protect the step. The lads from Limerick thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of climbing something a bit steeper than they had before.
Conditions on the mountain are still very lean, but there was quite a bit of rime on the crags (although bizarrely only up until a certain height). There was also quite a bit of verglas on the rocks above 900m.
We've still got a bit of availability on our winter mountaineering and climbing courses this season, so if you're interested, you can find more info at: http://westcoast-mountainguides.co.uk/winter-courses/