I knew I wouldn't be able to be good and rest my ankle (shaved my leg to tape it... a new experience) or chest for long..... Kenny and Mike and I got an early start today for our day out on Ben Nevis. After hearing from folks yesterday we decided to go around to Observatory Gully and get as high as possible. Up at the top the buttresses were well rimed but there wasn't as much ice as we woulld have liked. Discounting a few options on our way up we finally settled on Smith's Route as being one of the few lines looking icey enough. Once we got onto the route the placements for tools were actually rather good. The snow was generally firmer than expected but you never new quite whether the next step would be solid or not- so we (well.... Kenny- it was his lead) aproached the crux tentatively. Fortunately conditions continued good through all 3 pitches. We topped out in sunshine with a great inversion and headed off to descend No. 4 for what was the first but not the last time of the season. There were a few things looking climbable in Coire Na Ciste but I'll leave it to Mike for a fuller description- he has my pics and video clips from today so expect a good vid later on on Abacus Mountaineering's Conditions page .