Friday, 21 March 2014


Good conditions on Ben Nevis. This was one of my most enjoyable days at work this winter. I think a am becoming better at not letting what I could have done (climb) detract from what I did (walk).

FOMO;  Fear Of Missing Out
An affliction that some climbers suffer from, the fear that they may miss out.

It has been an unusual winter. Loads of wind, snow and cloud. Clear days on the hill have felt like a very precious commodity.  A few weeks ago it cleared up for about two days. I had been keeping an eye on conditions, and knew that there would be some superb ice on Ben Nevis.  A couple of days previously Iain Small had given me a text to see if I fancied climbing with him. Unfortunately I had to say no as I had already arranged to work and, due to others being away, there was no opportunity to swap my days.
My winter job is as a forecaster for the Scottish Avalanche Information Service. On the second of the good days I headed up the Ben to have a look at some cornice triggered avalanches (see picture above). It was a beautiful day, and from the hut with a pair of binoculars I could see Iain up on Minus One Buttress Direct. It looked superb.
I don't seem to get many days winter climbing as I use to as I tend to be quite busy in the winter months. Inevitably I sometimes miss good conditions. In the past I might have had raging FOMO when this occurred, but now I am a bit more relaxed. I love getting paid to potter about the hills and look at snow.  Although it would have been nice to have done Minus One Direct, I didn't, and I am not going to let that ruin another wise lovely day wandering about the Ben.