Yesterday Andrew, Josh and I climbed Tower Ridge and summited Ben Nevis on their first day of winter climbing and their first peak in Scotland. Today they led themselves up Dorsal Arete for their first ever lead climb. It's been a steep learning curve! Dorsal Arete is a brilliant route for your first lead. It builds in difficulty to the crux at the top which has overhead protection from slings on spikes. One thin move and a couple of exposed balances get you up the fin before a last short pitch to the top. This climb is often very busy, for good reasons, but today there was one team up nice and early followed by us and no one else.
There is lots of soft fresh snow in Coire nan Lochan and the crags are more white than I have ever seen them. Thick rime covers the rocks and the mixed climbing is definitely in condition. We enjoyed a quick slide down Broad Gully back into the coire and a slightly icy walk down the path. Another great day and we have several more cold dry days to come.
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.