Sunday 4 April 2010

Sunday on Ben Nevis

A day of today, but the weather was too nice to stay at home. So I got a late start cycling to Torlundy and then up to the CIC hut. We had a big dump of snow last night (several inches of fresh stuff) but the North Face Car Park was still full to overflowing. I joined another 33 people on Ledge Route having waded my way in. I could see parties low on Tower Ridge and just heading into Observatory Gully around midday- plenty of time and daylight for a route though, and those who had waited a little didn't have to break trail or clear snow off routes I suppose. The sunshine and mist chased each other around the mountain and there were a couple of light showers- but it was still warm enough for me to climb in a thermal and a windstopper gillet and without gloves. It was very sunny as I dropped down the Red Burn, looking across at dozens of walkers heading up. The rain forecast for tomorrow and tuesday will probably strip a lot of the soft snow off but the underlying ice will take longer to shift. There wasa bit of fresh ice around; the CIC cascade had begun to reform and an icefall to its left had a couple of parties on today (picture above).