Tuesday 6 March 2012

Leading on the Ben

Walk in
Spindrift in the Ciste Coire
Runner's on!
Fiona just after the big sluff
Kat from Nathan's team
Charlotte almost at the belay
Leading through
It was a very early start from Glenmore Lodge this morning to get us across west to Ben Nevis. Walking in the wind was moving quite a bit of snow around and beside the Ciste Lochain we met a couple of Frenchmen who were heading down concerned about snow conditions and possible avalanches.
With large crowds heading towards the No.2 Gully/Comb Gully area and a forecast for approaching bad weather Nathan and I took our teams to North Gully. Fiona did a great job leading the steep spot on the first pitch despite the heavy sluff of snow that buried her at the worst moment possible. The snow on the upper part of the route was not as bad as it might have been but time was pressing and a large cornice overhead and the weather due to get mild I let Charlotte lead a pitch before taking over to get us out the top.
It was getting damp and raining as we descended and the temperature is due to fluctuate a bit over the next few days. a team were climbing Green Gully but they may have traversed in from near No. 3 Gully Buttress. I spoke to a friend who backed off Comb Gully because he was unhappy with how poorly attached and hollow the ice was.

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