Winter Ramsay Round

Dear all,

A bit of news for you. Bit busy now, hence choppy writing.

Last week 28th - 29th March I completed the Winter Ramsay Round. I.e.the Ramsay Round completed in British Winter Time. [Full report in exploits under Winter Ramsay Round]. Anyway, since 1978 it had never been successfully completed in any form in winter, until Nov 2002, when Glyn Jones of Dumfries did it in 53hrs 34mins. So, faced with such a dry winter, an approaching clock change, and a bout of confidence and fitness, I dashed up to give it a crack.

So I completed solo, unsupported in 32hrs 48mins. It was all pretty straightfoward. The highlights were: sunny first half of Friday, chilly wind second half, sleepy very dark bad vis at night to find the far eastern munro cairns, clambered up some very steep convex snow fields in the pitch black, again with no vis. Had friends check me safe at Fersit Dam at 2.25am, and took no shelter in their camper and took or jettisoned no gear. Accidentally slept in the heather at 3.30am for 30 mins. Chilly early morn with fresh snowfall. Had friend check me safe at Lairig Leacach bothy at 7.30am, but didn't step inside or take any assistance. Windy cold a.m. with snow. Surprisingly avoided some dodgy snowfields and cornices near the Prow below Aonach Beag. Howling windy p.m. with snow. Painful descent of Ben paved path to YH. Hurrah. Finished. Went to friends in Fort Bill and watched extreme paddling videos till late.

I kept 22Ib pack with me all the time and did not drop at the 4 out and backs. I had no food or water drops, carried everything. The crucial piece of kit was Salomon XA-Pro shoes, with new Sealskinz socks. The shoes take Grivel G10 crampons. Didn't use though, managed to stay safe with axe. Other good kit was KIMM jkt and powerstretch, Vango Arc 42 sac, Silva Type 4, Ortlieb mapcase, Polaris Pertex hat, Petzl Tikka LED, Yashica 35mm Compact, Casio G-Shock Altimeter Watch.

Was kept entertained by some webcast style coverage on sleepmonsters aided by my phoning and texting on ridges. Lots of thanks to those checking on me, on ground (Rob Priestley, Andy Jackson and Brigette).

Stats are: 60 miles, and 28,000 feet ascent (and 28,000 feet descent), although I calculate more.

Winter Ramsay Round 2003 - gazWinter Ramsay Round 2003 - losing it on the AonachsWinter Ramsay Round 2003 - finished at Glen NevisWinter Ramsay Round 2003 - 1 of 5 night time MunrosWinter Ramsay Round 2003 - profile of routeWinter Ramsay Round 2003 - the map of the routeWinter Ramsay Round 2003 - Ben Nevis

Posted by Gary Tompsett on Mon 30 Nov -0001 | comments are closed

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