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Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-May?

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Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-May?

Postby guhj » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:17 am

I need to get off my skinny butt and go travelling/climbing this spring, but I'm not at all decided on where to go and when. I'm not leaving until the end of february, or maybe even later.

I'm fairly openminded as to what I'll climb. Pure snow slogs and glacier walks are not interesting, but single pitch sport and trad, multi-pitch sport and trad, moderately technical snow/ice/mixed, and ski mountaineering are.

What's Scottland like in march? Is there still any gnarly Scottish winter climbing to be done, or is it too warm by then?
The Pyrenees seem to offer some decent sport climbing. Is it warm and snowfree in march? Is there anything else to do?
I've been looking at maybe being in Chamonix in april for... well, the typical Cham stuff, ice-tools and crampons, fairly steep snow, ice and mixed.
The Julian Alps (Slovenia?) look beautiful. What are conditions like in may? Is Slovenia cheap like Czech Republic and other eastern european countries?

Any resources, links, tips, opinions are very appreciated!
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby Boydie » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:14 pm

The last few years there's been snow well into April here in Scotland, but it's been really mild this year and the coverage is fairly lean at the moment. If we don't get a good cold snap soon the winter's going to be a bit of a washout. :evil:

This link will give you a look at the current conditions on Meall a'Bhuiridh in Glencoe;
http://www.glencoemountain.co.uk/webcams.html
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby guhj » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:55 pm

Wales sounds interesting, in particular since its so much closer to London (which is where I'll be flying to) than Scotland.

If the season doesn't kick in up in Scottland, will going there in march be a complete failure, or is there decent rock climbing near where the ice/mixed "should have been"?

Any input on continental Europe? When do I want to be where?
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby Boydie » Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:32 pm

It's snowing.....a lot... :D ....but will it last?
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby visentin » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:44 am

guhj wrote:I need to get off my skinny butt and go travelling/climbing this spring, but I'm not at all decided on where to go and when. I'm not leaving until the end of february, or maybe even later.

I'm fairly openminded as to what I'll climb. Pure snow slogs and glacier walks are not interesting, but single pitch sport and trad, multi-pitch sport and trad, moderately technical snow/ice/mixed, and ski mountaineering are.

What's Scottland like in march? Is there still any gnarly Scottish winter climbing to be done, or is it too warm by then?
The Pyrenees seem to offer some decent sport climbing. Is it warm and snowfree in march? Is there anything else to do?
I've been looking at maybe being in Chamonix in april for... well, the typical Cham stuff, ice-tools and crampons, fairly steep snow, ice and mixed.
The Julian Alps (Slovenia?) look beautiful. What are conditions like in may? Is Slovenia cheap like Czech Republic and other eastern european countries?

Any resources, links, tips, opinions are very appreciated!


If not keen in a snow trip, go to the southernmost: the Pyrenees, preferably Spanish.
In Scotland, snow is usually found in March, some great winter hikes to do without too much technical gear (except for demanding places like Ben Nevis or Skye).
There is another thread currently about Julian Alps at the same time of year. Never been in May but I am pretty sure it's also very snowy, not very much the season for via feratas and so on. Beware about the avalanches in the Alps.
Slovenia cheaper ? Compared to western Europe I think yes (at least it was few years ago), despite it increased. However more expensive than CZ (except Prague which owns the price standards of big western cities). But if you search a lot you can dig some decently cheap places to stay in Slovenia, the thing is that such info is often available only in slovenian language across the web (and I would say so for every country out of UK indeed...). You need to spend time digging links and using Google Translate...
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby Boydie » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Looks like we are going to get a cold snap, with a ton of snow predicted for this weekend.
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby guhj » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:13 pm

Boydie wrote:Looks like we are going to get a cold snap, with a ton of snow predicted for this weekend.


Did you get that "ton of snow"? How does this affect ice and steep gully climbing in march?

Also, do you have any tips for online climbing guides / topos /other useful info on Scottish winter climbing? I've had a hard time finding sites with route-specific info *and* decent coverage.

Similar info for any other "must see areas" in the UK is also very appreciated.

Planning for the later stages (april, may) is, I guess, not top priority right now, but input is of course always welcome.
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Re: Spring climbing trip Scott/Pyrenees/Cham/Julians? March-

Postby Boydie » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:31 pm

guhj wrote:
Boydie wrote:Looks like we are going to get a cold snap, with a ton of snow predicted for this weekend.


Did you get that "ton of snow"? How does this affect ice and steep gully climbing in march?

Also, do you have any tips for online climbing guides / topos /other useful info on Scottish winter climbing? I've had a hard time finding sites with route-specific info *and* decent coverage.

Similar info for any other "must see areas" in the UK is also very appreciated.

Planning for the later stages (april, may) is, I guess, not top priority right now, but input is of course always welcome.


There was a good bit of snow, but it doesn't seem to be lasting for too long anytime it comes down.

You could try these two sites, although it's just general information that they provide;
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/
http://www.munromagic.com/

This site will give you some good guide books and a bit of information more technical to look at for the Scottish peaks;
http://www.smc.org.uk/MainIntro.php
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