The end of last week brought us hard frosts and cold calm days with great mixed climbing conditions. Fresh snow over night on Saturday into Sunday put down about 30cm and more fell last night. So today in the mist on Ben Nevis everything was very white indeed.
Andrew and Josh have done some climbing in the Alps and greater ranges but this was their first climb in Scotland. With everything covered in fresh snow it was slow going. All the ledges were covered and the snow was soft and unhelpful. Higher up there was a little old snow underneath which made it slightly easier going but we still need more snow to fill in the ridge properly. The fallen block chimney is not yet full and the Eastern Traverse is not banked out. Despite all this it was great fun in the dry and calm conditions. On the summit the rime has built to be a metre thick in some places exposed to the strong SE wind we had last week.
Ice has been forming in the colder weather but the gullies are still not great to climb yet. We will need some thaw and freeze cycles to bring the ice in the gullies in to shape. In the meantime the buttresses are frozen and good fun to climb.
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.