Hannah was out in the corries of Ben Nevis today, delivering a winter skills day for Bristol University on behalf of Mountain Motion. Overnight, the temperatures had risen to above the summits, saturating and softening the snow pack and leading to cornices becoming unstable and in some cases breaking away. Needless to say, the crags quickly lost any rime ice, and were quite black, so whilst mixed climbing would have been a non-starter today, what this thaw did is highlight the build up of ice down the major drainage lines.
Much of the ice will be thin and soft and not much fun to climb just yet, but there is a lot about, and with a much more prolonged cold spell starting on Wednesday, after the passing of Storm Frank, it’s looking like a promising start to 2016.
Hannah and Rich took the group on a tour of Coire na Ciste, looking at cramponning and ice axe arrests, before a journey day in Glencoe tomorrow. Not many other folk out today, although one team did make an ascent of No. 5 Gully, before coming back down No. 4.