Monday, 29 March 2010

A tussle with 2 Step





A return to great weather for a day and Ian and I got an early start (earlier for him, he'd driven from Stirling!) for Ben Nevis this morning. On the walk in we could see crowds streaming from the CIC Hut towards Observatory Gully which sent us into Coire na Ciste instead. We'd met a party in the car park who had done 2 Step Corner on Saturday so that became our target for the day and when we reached the Coire there was only a team heading for Green Gully there (cheers for the trail guys). Straight away it was obvious that the snow ice was great for axes, fine for feet but useless for screws- fortunately there is a little rock gear on the route but it felt quite bold. We climbed it in 4 fun pitches, the 2 steep steps in the middle of our pitch 3 providing the crux as there was a lot less ice on them (and no protection nearby). Great to top out into the sun and no wind listening to parties in Green Gully and somewhere over towards Central Gully Left or Right. The fresh snow of the last couple of days was lying on the slope below No. 3 Gully Buttress deeply enough to make kicking steps through it feel like work and we chose to come down the Red Burn (the bumslide was frozen solid and too fast for me!!) pleased with our route.

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