Stuck in College

Been in college all day today and on the North Face of Ben Nevis to look at movement on steep ice. We found some steep water ice in the gultch just above the CIC hut.
The Gultch Ben Nevis
On the north face, the CIC Cascade is beginning to form and two teams on vanishing gully which looked in great nick but not a lot else to be seen due to the low cloud base.


Deep Cut Chimney

Usually on the good weather climbing days the climber finds them self stuck in the office or in my case college. I believe however I have found the perfect solution for this, don't go to the office.
So instead of going to college Jamie Bankhead and I headed to Hells Lum crag in the Cairngorms to climb Deep Cut Chimney (IV,5***). The avalanche forecast made the crag a popular choice for the day and we were beaten to the route by another team but fortunately beat the other parties.
The first and last pitch is were this route earns its stars and the crux is the very last move, which is spectacularly weird.

Walking into the crag

The other team in the awkward crux section


Back in the Norries

Yesterday we were considering our options for putting the good weather to use. Looking at the forecasts we decided that it would be great to go and hit the Northern Corries even though a little busy.
Luckily the forecast was right and the weather was great but that just attracts the crowds. Jamie and I headed to the Mess of pottage to take look at the Direct start to hidden chimney (IV,5**). Lot of good climbing and protection but I am unsure weather or not it was in the best condition.
After doing the fun pitch we abseiled off had a bite to eat and then headed up the Haston Line (IV,4). This is a one move wonder route but a very committing scary move all the same, again I am wondering if it comes into better condition. To finish of we climbed the rest of Hidden Chimney (II/III) and topped out with the sun setting.
Jamie Murray approaching the Mess of Pottage

Sun setting over the Norries

Andy glad to be topping out


Literally Vanishing

Jamie Bankhead and I headed up the Ben and will be doing the same tomorrow. We had made no objectives just to go and see what was in and give it a try. The first route we spotted that might go was Vanishing Gully (V,5***) but unfortunately it was actually vanishing.

Jamie checking out the route.
Jamie fighting the choss and slush.
After backing off we decided to go round and take a look at Compression Crack (V,5**) which we noticed looked fat on the walk in. It was nice thick blue ice that isn't the best for blunt tools but it did the job.  
Me on Compression Crack


Crap Out!

Well the weather is getting 'pure manky' in the Fort with conditions looking better later in the week. There Craig and I got the bikes out for a wee cycle up Nevis Range.
On the down hill we were getting hit by some pretty big gusts so big it meant we didn't actually need to use our brakes. Then off to the Ice Factor to finish the day.
Craig Mckay on the champs track