Wednesday 4 September 2013

Conditions up high

Yesterday I went up and climbed at the top of the Midi for the first time since mid June, which made me realise just how little I've done this summer. Still, I've had a good time, and it made it all the sweeter to be out and about in the hills again.

It looked at one stage as if this was going to be a dry, hot summer, but some bad weather in mid August really filled in the glaciers again and put some much needed snow down up high. Right now conditions are pretty funny, with most snow/ice based climbs looking dry and black, but many rock routes having snow on the ledges, keeping the routes damp.

If you're heading out now, I would climb either south facing rock high up, or mid/low altitude rock on any aspect. This seems to have been a pattern for the last few summers, with a damp spring and occasional patches of heavy precipitation keeping many routes out of condition all summer. As far as I know the last time the Walker Spur was climbed in dry conditions was 2010, and that certainly won't change this year.

One the upside, conditions could be superb for autumn as the snow consolidates and is topped up by the storms forecast to arrive at the end of this week. Stay tuned...