Sunday 27 December 2015

Plenty to climb on Ben Nevis

Today Rich, Iain and I went out to Ben Nevis. Funnily enough it felt rather mild- bit of a theme this year. We didn't hit the freezing level until high in Coire na Ciste. The snowpack was moist with a thin rain crust but on steeper surfaces some ice was forming and the harder mixed routes looked good.
We climbed No.3 Gully Buttress to give Iain a chance to work on his parallel rope work and this gave Rich and I a grandstand seat as Murdo and Andy(?) climbed Arthur and Ian and Uisdean climbed The Secret. Strong folk around as I did my best just to work of my turkey!!
Our route had plenty of cruddy sonic on it but it was firming up nicely in places and as I say Ice was forming. Hopefully the wee thaws due tomorrow and wednesday wont be too vicious and the freezes before, during and after will just consolidate things nicely for the first week of January.
Also saw folk on Ledge Route, Tower Ridge and the CMD Arete and spoke to a team who had been on the SW Ridge of the Douglas Boulder which they reported as unfrozen and loose.
 Looking at Ledge Route
 The Douglas Boulder
 Starting No.3 GB and team on Arthur
 Strenuous climbing on Arthur
 Ice forming on faces
 Looking across Coire na Ciste BLUE SKY!
 Core floor still a boulder field
 Ian bringing Uisdean up The Secret
 Iain mid crux step
 The final pitch of No.3 Gully Buttress
 Shapes on the Secret
 Rich on the last ramp
Down time

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