After the thaw
Yesterday's turbo thaw stripped away just about all the ice that survived the weekend. Snow cover was much reduced but the coires and big gullies on Ben Nevis are still full. We had a little fresh snow down to 650m last night and with more forecast to fall during the day I thought a buttress or ridge climb would be good so Neil and I went to climb NE Buttress.
There was very little old snow left on the ridge so most of the climbing was on the rocks with fresh snow on them. Progress was made a bit more tricky by a covering of verglas on the all the rocks making them super slippy. Despite this we made our way up the ridge quickly by moving together on the easier bits and enjoyed brilliant views and light winds for the whole climb. The Mantrap was as tricky as ever and the Forty Foot Corner was quite secure with good hooks available. As far as the ice climbing goes though, there is a lot of rebuilding to do! Steve took our mountaineering course up Number Two Gully which went very well. The guys on the course learned all about snow anchors on Monday with a climb of Number Three Gully and lots of rock anchors on the Zig Zags yesterday. Number Two Gully today was a great route to put it all together on a first grade II climb.
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Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.