Category Archives: Commentary

International Winter Meet Day 6

Two new routes on Garbh Bheinn was the big news from the last day of the winter meet (February 28). The South Wall is very rarely in winter condition, but continuous storms had plastered it in snow making it a … Continue reading

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International Winter Meet Day 5

Heavy snowfall overnight on strong westerly winds resulted in dangerous windslab conditions on the fifth day of the International Meet (February 27). On Ben Nevis this confined teams to wind scoured cliffs such as the Minus Face, where the three … Continue reading

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International Winter Meet Day 4

On February 26, the wind dropped and all eyes turned to Ben Nevis with close to 40 climbers from the International Meet active on the mountain. The standout performance came from Peter Hoang (Canada) and Neil Adams who made an … Continue reading

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International Winter Meet Day 1

After twelve months of planning, the 2020 International Winter Meet finally got underway last night when 55 climbers from 23 countries met at Aviemore Youth Hostel. After a slow start to the winter, the February storms have magically transformed the … Continue reading

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Can Do on Nocando Crack!

I left out the Guy Steven and Steve Holmes’ ascent of Nocando Crack (VII,8) on January 29 in Coire an Lochain in the Northern Corries in my last post January Scottish Winter Diary because Nocando Crack is neither a new … Continue reading

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January Scottish Winter Diary

It’s been a tough January in the Scottish mountains with almost non-stop winds and long periods of thaw. Conditions on the mountains have changed day by day and have often been completely different from east to west. Here is a … Continue reading

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Scottish Winter Meet Update

There are less than four weeks to go before the Scottish Winter Meet. Mountaineering Scotland have issued the following press release: “Climbers from around the globe will be gathering in Scotland next month for a special event revived by Mountaineering … Continue reading

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Season’s End

Hopes for good late season conditions were thwarted by another major thaw in March. By way of compensation, a heavy snowfall in the Cairngorms followed by a helpful thaw-freeze cycle brought the easier north-facing gullies into condition and several teams … Continue reading

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Neverthought Arête

Without question, it has been a dismal Scottish winter season. The warm weather through most of the peak winter climbing period in February upset many people’s dreams, and the tragic loss of Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry coupled with the … Continue reading

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Alex Runciman (1960 – 2019)

Grahame Nicoll’s atmospheric photograph of Alex Runciman perched above the misty void on Number Three Gully Buttress (III) on Ben Nevis is one of my favourite winter climbing images. It is no coincidence that it was published in both the … Continue reading

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