Saturday 3 January 2015

Following the fat ice on Ben Nevis

I'm in no hurry to go back to work and have been passing on bookings to do some climbing for myself.
Today Iain and I went up Ben Nevis (along with many others) to see what remains of winter- the answer was plenty! It was cool as we entered Coire na Ciste and passing below No.5 Gully there was a thick layer of graupel just below the surface layer of refrozen snow.
There was plenty to go at with parties on Glovers, Green, Comb, Tower Face of the Comb and I saw various people topping out from routes on No. 3 Gully Buttress. We chatted with Tamsin and Lou who were off to Comb Gully Buttress and No.2 Gully Buttress and the Cascade would have been good options at their grade. Round in Observatory Gully I know that Point 5, Tower Scoop and Good Friday Climb all saw ascents. Hadrians looked complete but I don't know how fat it was.
We were after some ice away from the crowds. We had thought of the White Line but the third pitch looked a little broken however the bulges to the left of Raeburn's Easy Route were looking fat. We climbed these giving 40m of ice screw gobbling III (just a little hollow at the very top). Then we soloed across Raeburn's Easy Route to the best looking piece of ice in the Coire. Expert's Choice (III,4) gave us a long pitch of FAT blue ice to the plateau. Surprisingly though although the ice was great and it was pretty chilly there was a little moisture about. Walking round the rim of the Coire to where Lou and Tamsin were almost finished they had had a soaking on CGB!
Sunny in the morning, just a little misty later. Fat ice. What's not to like?

Captions and more pics at:

1 comment:

Tabitha T said...

Awesome..... I would love the opportunity for an adventure like this, but not sure I'm brave enough to get all the way up to the summit.