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nick@alphamountaineering.co.uk      +44 (0)7748 275825

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On this page we at Alpha Mountaineering will keep you up to date with news and the local conditions as we find them out on the hill. If this page has not been updated recently then check my Facebook or Twitter page as I can update those more easily when away from the office.

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Sunday 19th November 2017

Summit of Cairngorm

Cairngorm Winter Weekend

Working in the Cairngorms this weekend. I was out on the hill with Glasgow Uni Mountaineering Club as the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor

Although sunny and with fine views on Saturday it was very cold in the NW wind. On Sunday the cloud was around summit level and the wind was a lot lighter but it was still well below freezing on the tops.

There are some photos are here: GUM Club weekend Facebook photo album

Cutting steps Heading towards Coire Domhain

Wednesday 15th November 2017

The Ogre by Doug Scott

The Ogre by Doug Scott

Tomorrow The Ogre by Doug Scott is published. Here is a wee extract to whet your appetite:

On the fifth morning at Base Camp Nick suddenly arrived with a team of Balti porters and enough poplar wood poles to make a stretcher. As it was being constructed Nick produced, from his rucksack, more food and also some very strong painkillers. All the way down the mountain, to this point, I had no pain relief, in fact we had no first aid kit with us. I had hoped to find at Base Camp at least some relief for my aches and pains but Nick had left nothing of the kind behind; I had a go at him about that which was incredibly insensitive of me after he had just slogged all the way back up to help us.

By midday I was on the stretcher in the midst of the Balti porters carrying me down the steep, and sometimes difficult, moraine-covered Baintha Lukpar Glacier. The Balti were dressed, as always, in their homespun tunics and cotton pantaloons, wearing sawn-off wellingtons and rubber sandals. For the next three days I was surrounded by them as they carried me along so carefully, with Chris walking alongside still coughing and spitting up colourful mucus.

It was a remarkable journey on that home-made stretcher, made up of wooden poles, climbing ropes and sleeping mats. Never once did they look like dropping me and I seldom felt a jolt. It was interesting to lie on the stretcher, listening and waiting, as they made decisions as to which route to take, the pacing of the journey, the choice of camping site, and who would fetch wood, water and stone for their bivouac.


Monday 13th November 2017

Approaching the summit ridge of Beinn Damh

Very wintery in Torridon

I was working in Torridon this weekend. It was very wintery with snow down to 500m on Sunday morning. There was a cold NW wind and plenty of snow showers during the day too. I was working with Edinburgh Uni Hill Walking Club as the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor

The forecast said an improving situation through the weekend but we found the opposite with more showers and wind on Sunday than on Saturday.

There are some photos are here: EUHWC weekend Facebook photo album

Bienn Damh Summit Teresa and Rikke approaching the col

Monday 6th November 2017

Snow showers in Glen Etive

Winter arrives in the highlands

This weekend I was working in Glencoe and Glen Etive. I was working with The Aberdeen University Lairig Club as the St John Scotland Mountain Safety Instructor

There was fresh snow on Friday night and more again on Saturday night. During Saturday we had sunshine and snow showers and a fresh westerly wind. On Sunday although there was a cold NW wind the cloud disappeared and we had plenty of sunshine and good views.

There are some photos are here: Lairig Club weekend Facebook photo album

Buachaille Etive Mor Navigation practice

I have archived all previous conditions reports. Please click on the appropriate link below to view past reports.