Saturday, 29 December 2012

Back to work but benign on Ben Nevis

After 100mph winds on the summits last night and a mega thaw yesterday I was interested to see what we would get today. It felt mild on the walk in but the freezing level came down enough to allow snow at the Hut during the day. The winds were blustery as we walked in but almost non existent on Ledge Route and only about 20mph on the summit plateau mid afternoon.
 All this was covered in a good dusting during the day
 Compare with pics from 3 days ago
 Debris below No. 5
 The avalanche channel below No.5
 Nic and his team walking into Coire na Ciste
 Somewhere on Ledge Route
The snow that fell was loose and unconsolidated and coming on light winds it meant that No. 4 Gully was safe for us to descend today. Soft cornices were building slowly. Just to try it out we abseiled off of the new marker cairn. Your rope needs a little care in its positioning. There is a rope grabbing groove just below the capstone that can prevent retrieval but the midway up the level of stone below this worked ok for us. The snow was lying down at the Hut level at the end of the day.

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