Monday 1 February 2010

Ice on Ben Nevis

Sunday and I was on the Ben Nevis with Mike and John. The brief was to find them some water ice to climb on which is fairly easy at the moment. After the walk in we were soon eyeing up the CIC hut icefalls which are easily accessible and still in good condition. I led a long pitch of IV and then we moved round to the 'gulch' - the burn coming out of Coire na Ciste. On the way we got a good view of Andy and Ian making short work of Route I. The ice below the Ciste was a friendly place with Rocio running a little 'ecole de glace' and descending paties stopping to chat and Tony soloing around. Mike and John each led a pitch of II/III and, after abseiling off of a 'v thread' then I led something steeper off to one side. Parties were on Castle Ridge, the Compression Cracks icefall, Tower Ridge and the routes low on its west face, Green Gully and others. On the walk out however we had almost an inch of fresh snow fall on us- making the road down through the forest an interesting drive.

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