Wednesday 4 January 2017

Thin but in

Jamie and I had a day off today and wanted top make something of what little is 'in' on Ben Nevis. The rime line was much higher today but I've been watching the ice rebuild at the base of North Gully and we headed in deciding there was enough for an ascent. It was thin but complete giving some good placements. Mike had the same idea and followed us up it with his team. It should improve with a few more days freeze but a heavy thaw or a heavy hand would damage it badly so don't set your hopes on it! The left hand finish was icey at the top so Jamie got a good pitch too. We chatted to Max as we descended No.4 on more good neve and there were many teams on No.2 (and one on Gargoyle Wall? A bit black for my tastes).
We readily need that snow now.
Jamie emerging from the thinly iced P1
The long easy P2
Looking across at Tower Ridge
Looking across at and down P3
Jamie contemplating P4
Getting involved
Getting gear
Getting higher
Going left
Last step
P4, the LH finish of North Gully today
Looking down the upper groove of the LH finish
Descending No.4 Gully
Looking back across at North Gully
Mike's team delicately tackling P1
A slender line of frozen water and snow
Nearly at a comfy belay

Dry rock abounds!
Jan 4th??
Climbers in No.2 Gully
A lovely day