Winter in the Scottish Mountains
So the first 8 weeks of the year were heralded by various named storms thundering in from the Atlantic. As usual this meant epic mountain days on Scotland's winter mountains battling against wind, rain, hail and snow. No change there then as the Scottish mountain conditions live up to the reputation as the best testing ground for fitness, equipment, organisation and mental stamina.
Early January saw us wading through plenty of deep but baseless snow running our standard Torridon mountaineering weeks while waiting for the freeze/thaw cycle to provide some much needed growth in the snow pack. Late Jan/early Feb winter skills and snowholing programmes were well under way in the Cairngorm National park.
And then February arrived along with the Arctic blast that was storm Ciara. Hail and snow arrived with freezing levels that were up and down the mountain on an hourly basis. The end result - masses of snow blown into the lee areas of Torridon in early Feb, on high winds, and snow finally settling on the windward sides in the final week of the month.
As I write this on the 2nd day of March we have superb consolidated base snow with light powder on top and pockets of windslab on NE to SE aspects in Kintail, Glencarron and Torridon.
Routes of note that are in great condition are the Forcan ridge and The Liathach traverse as well as the Snotter and Poachers Falls. All the highlights of the area are beckoning climbers from all over. All in all things are looking good for some late season climbing and ski touring right now. Get in touch - we still have some places to fill on some of our winter mountain courses and adventures.