Thursday, 22 January 2015

Two days, Two sides of Ben Nevis

Yesterday I had a great time guiding Yasser on the Mountain Track on Ben Nevis. Yasser had just completed a 2 day Winter Skills Course at Glenmore Lodge and was keen to get out to practice some of these skills. There was thick water ice as far down as the YH junction and we had to put crampons on very early on the Track. A great Winter's day and Yasser's hard work paid off as we were treated to great views at the summit.

Today, Andy and I were keen to enjoy some climbing the other side of the Ben. Andy was also keen to get his first grade V lead done so with a reasonable forecast, we left the bottom car park at 0530hrs in the hope that we'd be first on Point Five Gully.
 Our plan paid off and we saw some great colours just as the sun came up.
The first pitch started with easy slab followed by a lovely steep wall before the belay. This was much steeper than when I last climbed the route 2 years ago so it was great to experience different conditions. Just as we finished P2, the infamous spindrift avalanches started pouring down the gully...

 Andy battled through them and managed to see his hands and feet for long enough in between the sloughs to climb the Rogue Pitch.

Pretty poor vis on the summit today, a stark contrast to yesterday but an absolutely outstanding day nonetheless!