good try !
Cheers. Didn't think of that. Changed it :-)
cool, I've deleted my comment. Page looks great now!
That was a superb read Clint. I have a good understanding of what is happening (weather wise) around me, but this article has explained a whole lot more to me. It has even explained the reason why that mad woman (July 06) with the slippers on, roughly at the Red Burn, was going up the Ben. There was shit visibility and it was bloody baltic up there that day.
Well, an ex of mine even walked up the pony track barefoot once, and it's definitely possible, but the choice of footwear does usually give you an impression about their usual activities. Especially so when the weather is less than perfect...
July, and especially August are the worst months, because every one has their holidays, and often enough, most of the snow is gone at the summit plateau then. The problem with that Pony track is that it's so bloody well protected right up until past the halfway loch, where you start turning right. And most people going up there because "they want to walk to the highest mountain of Britain" figure they've made it up halfway, so they might as well continue...
I used to get a lot of requests from folks that knew friends of mine, as well as aunts of friends that wanted their teenage children away from the computer for a while, who found out that I went up to Scotland every month or so for some hillwalking, and that's it really affordable compared to any other such destination from here, that I ended up going up that Pony track every two to three months on average, and sometimes even three times in a weekend. It really put me off visiting the Ben, after only being able to summit 8 times out of about 2 dozen times I walked out of Achintee. At one moment, I started packing crampons, ice axe, bivy equipment at the hostel, and getting stuff like "Hey! weren't we only going up for a walk to the Ben? Why are you packing all of that?" After I replied "You'll see..." most were happy enough to walk to An Steall or so instead, and wait a day or so with the Ben. Because I want to enjoy myself as well as when I take on the responsibility of taking someone along for their first hillwalking experience, I want it to be just as enjoyable for them, I take them to Cairngorm instead nowadays. When the weather is absolutely horrible, at least it's possible to warm up in the Ptarmigan before walking the last bit, or ride the funicular down after having a few pints there afterwards. Much more enjoyable experience for first-time hillwalkers.
So, the gist of it is... If you don't like the weather wait a bit longer and if you still don't like it - go to the pub..?
Great page - excellent information!
...very informative and nicely explained!
Very much like the Tatras (2600 m asl but the same relative altitude difference) that gather all the shitload of clouds while it can be sunny everywhere around. Also everything can change within minutes up there.
Thanks for this excellent piece of reading!
But aye, that's another thing a lot of people tend to forget. In Scotland it's rare to start anywhere above 300 metres, because most of the glens are right at sea level. One will read 1100 metres on a map, and that's very close to what you'll actually get vertically... Especially out west.
Thanks, dear :-)
Excellent read! But ... perhaps Mister Trump should (very well)
have a look at this before he proceeds with "the world's largest
Please CLICK for link.
And that in a country where there are already more golf courses than people. (at least it seems to be...) I hope Donnie Trump knows what he's doing...
Well mate ... it might to be interesting what "old Donnie"
has up his sleeve. Then again, it could just be more FODDER for
the tabloid magazines. (The one's right next to the Scotch whiskey!)
Please have a most 'cracking' day!!! -Larry
This is an exceptional summitpost!
Hi, anyone out there climbed Ladhar Bheinn or The Five Sisters of Kintail during mid to late May? Any opinions of on the likely hood of problematic ice on the routes. We will not be equipped with crampons etc...
and very well explained with great illustrations. I have always wondered why the summit region of British mountains look so much more barren and rugged than that of the smaller Alpine peaks of more than twice the height, but now I understand.
You see it in Norway as well along the coast...
Extensive glaciations during the Pliocene and Pleistocene made the mountains "look" younger, the climate nowadays ensures they look much higher in terms of vegetation...
For example, Ben Nevis at just over 1300 metres barely even touches the permafrost zone - average temperature on the summit is around 0C, which is similar to that of Sankt Moritz in Switzerland - in fact, 1000 metres up in the Scottish Highlands gives a similar climate, temperature wise, as Tromsø in Norway.
However, 1000 metres up in the Western Highlands, will also give you anywhere from 2500 to 4500 millimetres of precipitation on average, and between 600 and 800 hours of sunshine. Combine this with the high winds, and it really depresses the treeline - to the point where it follows more closely the 13C isotherm instead of the 10C in Western Scotland. Excessive precipitation flushes all nutrients out of the soil, severely low sunshine totals hamper photosynthesis and strong winds do the rest. Where normally you need 10C during July for trees, in Western Scotland you need 13C. For alpine meadows, you normally need around 6C, in the West of Scotland you need 9 to 10C...
Norway is the same by the way - Next time you make it out to Vestlandet, ride the Bergensbanen and check the vegetation on the east side in Geilo, and on the west side in Myrdal. Both places are roughly the same latitude and elevation, and about 100 kilometres apart, but Myrdal is on the western side, and receives 4 times the precipitation Geilo does, and on average about 400-500 hours less sunshine...
The glaciers rejuvenated the mountains, the climate is keeping them young ;-)
I've spent a fair amount of time in Scotland's mountains. This should be required reading for anyone who goes there. Great job!