Mette, Simon and I headed to Ben Nevis today having postponed our two days that coincided with the 'great flood'. We found a reduced but firm snowpack, a lot less of the older, climbable ice than there was but lots of smaller smears formed. We saw a party on an extremely lean No.3 Gully Buttress and the rime level was near the bottom of the Comb. Cracks seemed icey higher up but we spoke to a pair who had retreated after enjoying good conditions on the first 2 pitches of Gargoyle Wall (I handed their bandolier back to them having found it further down- they'd dropped it, hence the retreat). Mette and simon put in 3 pitches to get up a well stepped No.3 Gully (no cornice exit) battling strong blustery gusts in the gully but quieter conditions on the plateau. We wandered across to No.4 Gully (passing a broken pitch 1 of N. Gully) and soloed down again finding lots of steps and strong gusty winds that pursued us half way down the track to the forest, often blowing spray from the Allt a Mhuillin onto the path 15-20m away!
More snow please!
Looking lean and green!
Rocky Coire but complete No.3- lean elsewhere
Blue sky up there!
In the wind and the rime
Despite bitter cold water running over ice on right
Nearly the top
Bringing up Simon
Looking across to a very lean Pitch one of No.3 GB