Author Archives: Simon Richardson

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber

Optimists Arête on Ben Nevis

Taking advantage of the good early season snowfall in the West last weekend, Steve Holmes and Ken Applegate made the long approach up Tower Gully on November 11 to the unformed Upper Tower Cascades on the East Flank of Tower … Continue reading

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Early Bird on Lochnagar

Full winter conditions arrived this weekend on the Scottish mountains with climbing activity on Ben Nevis, the Cairngorms and North-West. First to report a new route were Drew Stevenson and Stuart Cossar who made an enterprising first ascent of Early … Continue reading

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Chasing the Ephemeral Receives Banff Award

Several years ago, Tom Prentice from Mica Publishing asked me to write a book describing 50 of the finest Scottish winter routes. It seemed a clear brief at the outset, but the more we discussed it, the concept began to … Continue reading

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Thin Ice Special

Conditions change quickly in late March. The day after our ascent of Failure Is Not An Option on the North Wall of Carn Dearg, the temperature was warmer and Iain Small and I had to look higher up on Ben … Continue reading

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Failure Is Not An Option

A curious result of this year’s difficult conditions was the temporary formation of ice at low levels on Ben Nevis during the third week in March. The icefalls below Carn Dearg became remarkably icy. These don’t normally merit much notice, … Continue reading

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Ben Nevis Update

It’s been a difficult season, but as March progressed, good winter climbing was found on Ben Nevis. The problem this winter has been the lack of any base. Any snowfalls have quickly disappeared due to rapid thaws, but the Ben’s … Continue reading

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Meshuga

“It’s been that sort of winter, where you either climb steep rocky routes or, on the assumption that all easier routes have turf, you put up with mediocre conditions,” Andy Nisbet writes. “And if you’re looking for easier new routes, … Continue reading

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When The Icicles Don’t Hang Straight

So here I am, belayed halfway up Church Door Buttress on Bidean nan Bian wondering why the icicles aren’t hanging straight. It is Tuesday March 7 and it’s gently snowing. Iain Small is above me climbing a vertical ice-filled corner … Continue reading

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Cloudjumper

“Dave MacLeod and I headed up the Ben last Sunday (March 5),” Helen Rennard writes. “We had been thinking of climbing something up in Coire na Ciste and Dave had kindly offered to belay me on something (I tend to … Continue reading

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Salvation Ribs

On March 4, John Jackson and Martin Holland headed in to Beinn Alligin with a couple of teams to attempt the classic Grade IV ice gully of West Coast Boomer on Tom na Gruagaich. “John, Joanne McCandless and Graeme Crowder … Continue reading

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