Highlands & Islands

Snow and ice just in time for winter climbing festival

Winter climb Image copyright Simon Richardson
Image caption Recent storms have boosted winter climbing conditions in Scotland's mountains

An international winter climbing festival taking place in the Highlands has benefited from low temperatures and heavy snowfalls.

Organisers of the event were worried mild weather in December and January would result in poor conditions in gullies and on cliffs.

But recent storms have seen build ups of snow and ice.

Streap Alba Geamhradh 2020 involves routes in the Cairngorms, Glen Coe and on Ben Nevis.

Running until 29 February, top climbers from all over the world are expected to take part.

Simon Richardson, a Scottish climber and member of the festival's organising committee, said: "Participants of the International Winter Meet have been anxiously watching the Scottish weather for several weeks now.

"After the warm December and January the prospects for winter climbing looked bleak.

"Fortunately, the February conveyor belt of westerly storms has changed all that."

The festival is being run by Mountaineering Scotland in partnership with the Alpine Club, Scottish Mountaineering Club and British Mountaineering Council.

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