Kevin Rutherford MIC

Hill and climbing conditions for the Scottish Highlands.

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

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fantastic Weekend....

Fantastic weekend with Arran and David. Arran looking to get on the sharp end and David on an intro to winter climbing, a good pairing. Saturday was windy, gusty, snowy with a freezing level of around 1000m. We spent most of the day on and around the twin ribs of the fiacaill ridge with a final ascent up and onto the ridge before escaping back to the car park.

Today, Sunday, we made our way into Sneachda and an already busy Mess of Pottage. We decided to climb Jacobs Left Edge I/II based on the fact that no one else was on it and it tied in nicely with Arran and David's game plan. We topped out in fantastic light and no wind. The mountain now has a great base for climbing, skiing, walking but there is still alot of deep windblown snow on gully exits.                                              

Continuing that serious note, if you see an instructor/guide soloing alongside 2 clients and climbing in front of you, possibly on "your" route, please stay clear! You can try and overtake, i cant stop you (ill try), but if you then play knitting with our rope and gear and into the bargain your practice is very poor, be prepared for a volley of abuse. A bit of patience or earlier start keeps everybody safe. Duty of care, client safety comes first!

Monday, 23 December 2013


I think the pictures say enough, the main skill today was........ survival. The storm cycle continues.
Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Hidden Chimney

We sometimes says that you have to rub your nose on routes/venues before you can make that final decision, that sometimes involves a long journey with nothing in return or a good day out. Arran, a returning client made the long drive yesterday morning from Edinburgh with the possibility of a days guided winter climbing on a dubious forecast. Strong winds, fluctuating freezing levels and rain, sleet and snow forecast. After a wet start from the ski carpark we eventually entered the corrie to find gusty conditions and still dampish snow. We eventually found not bad conditions on the Mess of Pottage and climbed Hidden Chimney, it was -3 at the top of the crag by the end of the day.


Imperial College London

An annual visit from Imperial College London Mountaineering club, for the first time in 4 years we didnt manage to get up the hill on day 1 due to hurricane force winds. We retreated to a dry Cummingston where we covered setting up anchors, retreating from routes, multi pitch climbing and moving together, its amazing what you can cover at a single pitch venue when you know it well. Day 2, we walked into Coire Sneachda to find thin snow cover so we eventually had our winter skills/mountaineering session on the plateau in Coire Domhain. Its great to work with a group of young mountaineers so enthused in what they are doing and climbing very well.