The very bottom pitch is very banked out compared to the last time I did it and the first ice pitch was moist. After the easy 3rd pitch we caught up with the other teams a the short, steep fourth pitch. Using the extensive ice I was able to get an alternate belay and that meant that it was only at the base of the fifth (crux) pitch (another alternate belay that we had to wait a few minutes. This was in quite good nick though a bit hacked about giving a couple of steep pulls (well protected though).
One more pitch of good climbing and we traversed off right to get an easy descent down firm snow. 1 team had gone on to Deep Cut Chimney, the ice falls to the left of that look well formed and I also hear that Crowberry Gully was good today.
Classic ice, good nick, fine weather- what's not to like?
West face of Aonach Dubh
Our third pitch
Looking down our fourth pitch
Alternate belays to avoid the queues and keep out of the line of fire
Looking up the crux
In the bag!
Stob Coire Nam Beith and beyond
John and No.6 Gully