Saturday, 21 February 2009

Wet ice on the Ben

Ben Nevis with John today. With strong winds, mild temperatures and rain forecast we opted for a quick ascent of South Gully. This was wet but with enough snow and ice for the first pitch and as I turned the corner I was delighted by the sight of a steep ice filled runnel. There were a couple of steep steps leading to an easier exit pitch (with a slightly worrying cornice- beware climbing this in further thaw conditions). We came down No. 4 Gully which has plenty of steps. There was water running everywhere in Coire na Ciste today but the remaining ice was quite friendly to climb. Teams were on Central (lh or rh- dont know), Green (although one team backed off describing a waterfall), North Gully, No. 2 Gully Buttress, No. 3 Gully Buttress, The White Line, Glovers (sounds of falling ice from that side of the coire late afternoon), Ledge Route and No.s 2,3 and 4 Gullys. Colder conditions forecast tomorrow and another busy day on the hill expected- watch out for falling rock, ice and kit! Today I was working for The Ice Factor.

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