Four of us left Wolverhampton at 19:20. It was 11 degrees, so the hope of any winter sports was low. By the time we reached Glencoe it was raining but cooler. The roads had been quiet, a sign the more sensible majority had stayed at home.
Monika at the summit lift
In true WMC style we got up and debated the few options we had. Neil, Monika and Richard left for the Nevis range ski centre while Matt, Andy and Sarah went for a walk.
Seven of the eleven ski lifts were closed but the runs, the ones that were open, were in ok condition. A snow shower helped cover the ice patches with a (thin) fresh layer of powder and improved the upper runs noticeably. The hardest part of the day came when we decided to go for lunch. We were directed to a run which was far from complete. It was more grass than snow and after an arduous decent to a bowl of soup we decided to call it a day. We had a better than expected day skiing despite the recent thaw.
Andy, Sarah and Matt parked in Glen Nevis and made their way up the summit track and once at the loch they followed the path to the North Face of Ben Nevis and the CIC Hut. After checking out the venue they headed down to the North Face carpark and back to the car.
High up on Nevis Range
Sunday morning was spent procrastinating. Neil, Monika and I only had skiing equipment and after the final arduous decent on Saturday we were reluctant to ski. Matt was the only one with ice climbing gear and he was eager to get on some ice. We eventually decided to try out the indoor ice wall at the Ice Factor. Now I know heads will be shaking at the idea but it was good fun, never before have I been able to push my self on ice without worrying about that dodgy ice screw or what the belay above me was like. It was also a great place to work on technique and give each other guidance. There are a good few routes to have a go at in the 2 hour slot we had and we were all pumped by the end. The only thing missing was a gale force wind and spin drift.
Andy and Sarah, keen to bag another visit to a remote hut (as an alternative to bagging Munros) decided to go to Glen Nevis again and walk up to the Steall Hut via Steall falls which itself is worth visiting.
Our next meet is next weekend at our club hut in Snowdonia.
The lower runs were far from complete