Paul was looking for an overnighter with some mountaineering this weekend and an early return to Edinburgh. We opted for Glen Clova as having one of the better forecasts and probably less snow than a lot of areas. It’s worth noting that the drive up the glen has some pretty big areas of rutted hard packed snow and ice at the moment.
The approach conditions were fairly tough with deep unconsolidated snow and breakable crust, so we diverted form Plan A pretty quickly and headed up the Kilbo path. Once out of the woods we took a look at the broken ground to the South-East and decided that with careful route choice this would give us a safe route up on to Dreish. We picked our way up the terrain linking small ribs and buttresses that gave about 150m of height gain on Grade I ground.
As we’d expected the ridge and summit area were generally well scoured and gave good walking around to the ridge above the Kilbo path in late sunshine and with no wind. We descended the ridge and bivvied in the woods.
This morning we found a bank of snow that was just big enough to look at emergency shelters before heading back down.
There was fresh snow overnight and the wind had switched around to a North-Easterly with lots of wind movement of snow. There are now significant pockets of windslab on lots of aspects right down to around 600m and some big areas of slab about. Good route choice is definitely required at the moment.
Snow shoes or skis might be useful for travel to avoid wading and post holing away from scoured areas.