Back up to Ben Nevis again this Weekend with big Scott.
Set off from the North face car park at 05:30, not much sleep, due to teams gearing up and setting off as early as 03:15!
Got to the CIC hut at 07:15. It felt pretty warm with poor visibility, but no wind.
Decided to walk up to No.3 Gully Buttress and see what conditions were like. Every thing was plastered with hoar frost higher up and the temps were hovering around freezing.
We got on Two-Step Corner V,5 with Scott taken the first lead
I did the next two
and Scott the final pitch.
He had the Hot aches before heading off on the final pitch, how I laughed. The route was in fantastic condition with lots of Fat ice. And one huge Cornice
Freezing rain on the top had everything coated in ice!
We headed down No.4 and traversed across to Mega Route X. The start has a thin veneer of ice for the first 10m,
which is a shame because the rest of the route looks climbable.
Had a look at the Curtain but there was water running beneath the ice on the slab. So we decided to head home, having had a good day anyway.
Tuesday, 23 January 2007
It was heavy going walking up from the CIC hut into Coire Na Ciste. At times the Snow was waist deep. We decided to do Jubilation IV,4 which looked in condition.
I set off up the first pitch on wet steep ice (80 deg) for about 50m and belayed on good in-situ gear.
I brought Dan up on a very tight rope. This was his first ever Ice Climb. Then up came Nathan. By the time we were up the first pitch, it had started to snow and the wind picked up blowing lots of spindrift around.
Nathan set of towards the next short ice pitch. When I reached his stance I noticed that the upper snow bowl was fully loaded.
I set off hugging the side of the Buttress, and after about 5 m a slab Avalanche was triggered. Get some gear in I thought then onto safer ground!!!
After a few more pitches we topped out with huge cornices to our left and right hand side.
Well done to Dan for his first winter route in appalling conditions.
Photo is of Dan pulling over first ice pitch.