Wednesday 3 April 2013

Orion Direct. Does work get any better than this?

Carole and Ian. A looong route. Good ice. Absorbing climbing. More sun. Less wind. Big smiles.
Ben Nevis still dripping ice.
 Second Pitch
 Much ice
 Top of second pitch, space beneath our feet already, 7 pitches to go!
 John on The Long Climb Finish- not long on gear!
Starting the regular crux
 Getting there
That looks good!
Higher up
 A wee traverse
Exit chimney

 Approaching the last belay
Hot and happy climbers
On the way down
We climbed that!
Although the Ben is remarkably quiet there were 2 teams on Zero Gully and John and Graeme moved ahead of us and dispatched the Long Climb finish. We let a speedy Rich Bentley and his client overtake at the exit chimneys. The ice is good but quite well chopped about so there is the odd thin patch and the crux lacks gear. But you never have more than one move on less than perfect tool placements. 
What a great day. Well done Ian and Carole and thanks for the pictures!
There are a lot of people ignorant of conditions getting into difficulty on the Pony Track  on the hill unfortunately. Many are unaware that the path is icey and slippery and worse some are drifting into the line of the Red Burn following footprints. Winter still alive and well up there- it takes more than sunshine to put Ben Nevis into easy walking conditions.

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