Since getting back to the Highlands at the start of the month its been a great start to the spring. Great clear skies and warmer temps pushed through although over the last few days there has been a dip in temperatures and some fresh snow. I think it will be short-lived though, the ‘lambing storms’ are a regular occurrence each winter just when you think its over.
We wrapped up in Kenya after delivering a series of rock courses which all went well. It was a rapid turnaround from camp in Ethi under Mt Kenya back to the Highlands and some work in Glencoe. Since then after a bout of fever and recovery we where back out just in time for some great weather. We headed up to Stac Polaidh the perfectly formed mini mountain in the North West Highlands. This is a great top and with clear blue skies and wind free it was a pleasure moving around on the summit ridge. Its a very distinct part of the Highlands with huge view across the hills and out into the Atlantic. We also had a quick trip to Skye with some scrambling at the Southern end and a bivvy above Coire Ghrunda. We where treated to a spectacular sunset and sunrise with the weather remaining perfect and clear throughout. We also took a look at the crags at Elgol. Perhaps one of the best viewpoints of the Skye ridge and across to Loch Courisk.
With that though the weather turned to the cooler bringing fresh snows to the tops and a refreeze of the little remaining snow there is. All normal for the time of year to receive the ‘lambing storms’ which bring some last blasts from the North. I headed out with Julian for a look at the Northern Corries perhaps with a mind to get an end of season winter route. On closer inspection though it was a bit superficial and the crags looked fairly black closer up. There was however a team starting Western Rib which seemed to me not to be in winter shape. Its also an area that can be very loose when not properly frozen together and not really worth the risk of finding out. We opted to spin round the ridge and across the tops which was pretty stunning and looked wintery enough. Any end of season touring looks a bit limited to patch hopping.
We have also been to the new climbing wall in Inverness. A great new addition to the city with plenty of bouldering and to go out. Some good lead walls and auto belays. Well worth a trip and am sure it will do well. Its also got a large Alpkit shop in it which notably has a repair area for fixing kit which may prove useful.
We have some courses running through the summer to take a closer look click here to have a look at the summer pages. We have also put a date and price on a Mt Kenya expedition which will be running in December 2023. Just get in touch for a PDF for the expedition.
As I type its still a bit wintry on the tops but the temperatures are slowly rising again which will hopefully give way to more summery conditions in the higher hills.