Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Needs must... day 1 of my winter

Having worked the weekend and missed the better weather and conditions I searched in vain for someone willing to go out in todays forecast. Oh well... what to do... close to home, 2 yes rather than one, a bit of a leg workout, will work in the conditions...
I went to the west face of Aonach Mor to climb Ruth. This Grade II was, I think first put up by my friend Simon Powell and is one of the first ribs you come to as you head south up the Allt Daim. Its escapable but also variable and you can wander across it taking in a series of steep wee steps- broken limb territory if you fall off soloing and it comes with a health warning. There are a lot of loose blocks. SO you can follow it at anywhere from I-III.
I took my bike up from Nevis Range to the top of the road in the Allt Daim and waded through the bog and heather towards the route, startled to see a Bearberry still in fruit in November at over 500m. I hit wet slush at 700m and deeper snow at 800, rime at 1000m. I kept clear of anything needing me to pull on turf as I don't reckon it would have been at all frozen but there were plenty of rocky hooks of varying levels of security to be found. You top out at 1100m, 150m above the top of the Quad Chair and the spindrift was doing a good job of exfoliating my face at that altitude. A damp plod back to the bike and a muddy blast down to Torlundy saw an end to my day.
Milder weather due but I'm flat out travelling and working in walls until the 9th- fingers crossed for more cold by then!
I was using my new Snow Shepherd 'Black Sheep' work gloves today. Worn with a skinny liner these went on and off well- no lining coming out of the fingers and dry warm hands. They are short in the wrist though so wrist gaiters or a thermal/top with thumb loops is a good idea.
 To the hills!
 Bearberry berry at the end of November?
 First rib
 2 good hooks- the next 2 need a little more care!
 First steep bit
 Rime time!
 Right foot
 Left foot
 New gloves
High point today at 1100m


Unknown said...

So glad you liked our gloves you'll be interested to hear we are at present having new ones design to complement our range including longer cuffs and some others thanks again so much on behalf of SnowShepherd

Alan said...

Excellent news. I'll look forwards to them!