Can I climb Ben Nevis in spring?
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
4M ago
Can I climb Ben Nevis in spring without a guide? ​ Yes, but there are some skills and knowledge you need to do it safely. Even then, it can be really tough, and turning around before reaching the summit might be the best thing to do. Here is some guidance on what you need to know and the skills you need to climb Ben Nevis in winter without a guide. What you don’t know you don’t know. The mountain usually sees its first snowfall in September and it can be in winter condition all the way through to May. So don't be fooled by a warm, sunny April day down in Fort William, the top of the mountai ..read more
Visit website
A wonderful start to the winter season.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
6M ago
High pressure brought us settled, cold, dry weather last week after a reasonable cover of snow, a quick thaw and refreeze. It was a fantastic start to my winter of guiding and climbing in which Doug and I enjoyed stunning days out, fantastic climbing and dry gear at the end of every day. We started out on Stob Coire nan Lochan on Monday, climbing Raeburn's Buttress (AKA Central Buttress Ordinary Route). At grade IV,4 and in really friendly condition, this was a nice warm up, a reminder of the movement and feel of winter climbing. It was a fantastic way to get . Previous climbers had left boo ..read more
Visit website
Happy New Year!
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
7M ago
Between Christmas and New Year we had a couple of storms that brought a bit of snow for us. It is currently lying down to around 600m and is not very deep, but it is very welcome! On Monday (New Year's Day) I went into Coire na Ciste on Ben Nevis to climb Strident Edge with Ali. We had tried a couple of times previously and found it to be black. This time it was white and frozen with a light covering of rime and snow. Perfect for mixed climbing. The rest of this week has been a bit warmer so Strident Edge and the Trident Buttresses are black. Ali and I chose the right day to go climbing. To ..read more
Visit website
Rime, hoar and verglas.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
7M ago
Water freezes into very different forms of ice. Here we look at three that affect winter climbers very much. Rime is what normally makes mixed climbs white enough to go and climb. Hoar Frost grows on horizontal surfaces in a cold, clear night and can create a very weak layer in the snowpack. Verglas is an invisible sheen of ice covering rocks, making them incredibly difficult to move over. Rime is a type of ice crystal that grows on any surface exposed to humid air being blown onto it in a sub-zero temperature. It is often seen on fence posts and, perhaps confusingly, grows into the wind. So ..read more
Visit website
It's a lot like meditation.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
8M ago
I’ve often said to people, hillwalking and mountaineering are like meditation. We are removed physically and mentally from our every day lives. We get so involved in the moment, in the activity and its demands on us, that we very often forget all about our normal worries and anxieties. The more we are challenged by the activity, the less cognitive bandwidth we have for anything else. It’s only when we get back home that we remember about the outstanding bills, the anxiety caused by our work or any number of things that cause our mental fatigue. Modern day life in our urban, man-made environm ..read more
Visit website
Winter navigation on Ben Nevis.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
8M ago
In good visibility, navigating up and back down Ben Nevis in winter can seem quite straightforward. It is a busy mountain and there is often a well trodden path to the summit, as well as cairns above 1150m about every 50m along the way. When you can see as far as Skye to the west and Cairngorm to the east, it is not surprising that you should be able to find your way easily. Even then, the path above 900m or so is usually covered in snow between December and May and can be nearly impossible to find and follow. If there is no boot trail through the snow, it can be quite confusing, even in good ..read more
Visit website
Be prepared.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
9M ago
Let me tell you a story which, like all good stories, has something that you can learn from. In November 2019 early snow covered the tops of the mountains. It had been cold and windy for a while so rime was building on the highest crags, delicate feathers of ice like white ferns growing straight out of the rock. Everything above halfway on Ben Nevis was looking white and wintry, and a rare calm, dry and cold day was forecast. But, typically, I had not been sufficiently organised to find a partner to go climbing with. Instead, I grabbed some gear in a rush feeling the usual desperate urge to ..read more
Visit website
Mountain Leader Qualification Courses
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
10M ago
October is Mountain Leader month for us at Abacus Mountain Guides. We have been training and assessing Mountain Leaders for very many years and it's a real treat to be able to work on these courses. Helping new leaders through their qualifications and setting them off on the right path (please excuse the pun!) is so rewarding for us. ​Our courses have developed over the years as well, with the new leadership model from Mountain Training adding great depth and structure to this aspect of the course, and many things that we have found work well for people in the delivery and content of the cou ..read more
Visit website
Autumn arrived with a bang.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
10M ago
Just two weeks ago I was in the Cuillin on Skye with summit temperatures of 16 celcius and dehydration was the biggest problem that we faced. This week was not the same for Alastair and Ali! This week there was more chance of getting washed away in a stream than of dehydration, and the conditions were described as disgusting! Lots of rain, very strong winds and summit temperatures just a couple of degrees above freezing made it very challenging indeed. Despite this, Alastair and Ali manage to visit all nine Munros on the ridge over three days. This a great achievement given the weather. When ..read more
Visit website
Take action on climate.
Abacus Mountain Guides
by
11M ago
Join Protect Our Winters and SEND IT for climate!  The UK government committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050, but even according to their own climate change committee we’re not on track, and this affects everyone. The next elected UK government must make policy commitments that get us back on track to net zero. Policy commitments start with party manifestos, and you have the power to influence those manifestos! We need the entire UK outdoor community to send a virtual postcard to stand up for the places we love! POW have taken care of the hard part - POW’s postcard outlines t ..read more
Visit website

Follow Abacus Mountain Guides on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR