Kevin Rutherford MIC

Hill and climbing conditions for the Scottish Highlands.

Winter Courses - Winter Skills, Winter Mountaineering, Winter Climbing & Norway Ice based in Rjukan

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Business as usual, wind machine on full

Back working in the Cairngorms today with Glenmore Lodge on the Journey day of a WML training course. Navigation, group management on steeper group, route choice, avalanche awareness, steep ground scenarios alot to cram into poor conditions on the hill. Plan A of a journey in and around the Fiacaill ridge was scuppered when we were turned around on the top part of the ski road so Plan B was a journey in and around the Ciste ridge. Very windy all day, with lots and lots of snow getting shifted around, looked a bit like a river at times.

Monday, 18 March 2013


Ive just returned from Rjukan, spending a very enjoyable week with Stephen and Martin. Not the usual trip for Rjukan which is usually a guided climbing week, both Stephen and Martin had climbed in winter before and were on the sharp end on day 3 after 2 days of initial instruction. Great weather, cold -14 to -3, brittle ice and very quiet venues, great! The new ice park (man made) which has been set up at the carpark side of  the Vemork bridge is very impressive and just adds to the variety of venues already available.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

2 Damp, 1 Dry

I spent Thursday working for Cairngorm Mountain Guides climbing in Coire an t Sneachda. Chris and friends were up in Scotland for a few days climbing and were looking for a days refresher before they climbed some routes themselves. We climbed Pateys, Mirror Direct and then the direct start to Hidden Chimney. A cold front past through during the day which provided a damp finish, good ice throughout.

Saturday and today i have been guided climbing with returning client Colin. We gambled on Saturday and headed into Loch Avon where we climbed Route Major on Carn Etchachan, we finished directly with 2 pitches via The Bastile/Kremlin/Red Guard. The freezing level was just above the tops, a bit thin in places lower down but still holding onto some good ice, all turf frozen. Another damp finish to the day navigating back over the plateau.
Today we climbed Fluted Buttress direct until the junction with Wavelength and then finished up Wavelength, the lower slopes had a bit of soft snow but again most of the route still holding onto a lot of good ice even although the freezing level was just above the tops, very Alpine.

Off to Rjukan next weekend.