Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Smith's Route after the Storm...

On Saturday I was out with Jamie and James for a spirited attempt on Ben Nevis. With winds of 80-90mph forecast and rain fall of over 200mm, it was one of those days where leaving the car park was  a small victory in itself! We managed as far as the Red Burn which normally can be strolled across but it was a raging torrent on Saturday! We went for plan B which was to head up Meall an-t Suidhe, just next to Ben Nevis. Whilst this hill has a modest height of 711m, it packed a wee punch for us in those weather conditions and it was great to get up to the top of something! A great effort from Jamie and James meant they earned their beers back at the Ben Nevis Inn!


Today I was out with Steve and Hannah for some personal climbing, This has been somewhat lacking for me this season so it was superb to see a good forecast and hear good reports that the ice high on the Ben was in good condition.
Smith's Route (V,5) has been on my wish list for a long time and we were all keen to get on it. We were second in the queue when we arrived which didn't seem too bad until about an hour and half, at which point it felt quite chilly. Still, it was great to get moving and I led up the first pitch to the cave belay whilst Steve and Hannah followed swiftly. Steve took the crux second pitch and made short work of it. This was superb fun, good ice, exposed and steep!
Hannah led us up the final pitch and the cornice onto a calm and sunny plateau.
Winter climbing at it's best- great company, great ice and great weather, cheers guys!