27th February to the 4th March

For the past week I have been on the British Mountain Guides winter test. Here is a report on some of the routes we have climbed and how conditions are.

On sunday and monday we were on our snowholing expedition. Routes climbed by us and other teams included a Central Gully-Central Buttress-Central Gully Left Hand link up, Fiacaill Coulior, The Coulior and the Runnel. Conditions on these routes were excellent.

Tuesday we headed to Ben Nevis. Andy T and I climbed Compression Cracks. The lower icefall was in excellent condition. The upper section was in poor condition and unless it has improved recently can not be recommended.

Back to the Cairngorms on wednesday. Routes climbed included Seamstress and Appetite for Destruction. These routes were in ok condition but now are black.

On thursday and friday routes climbed by the candidates include Tower Ridge and Green Gully on the Ben in good conditions, and Iron Butterfly, Grooved Rib, Sidewinder,Aladdins Mirror Direct, Ewen Buttress and Hidden Chimney in the Cairngorms in good conditions.

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