Almiost exactly three months since lockdown and my last day of work, I have gone back to work and it was amazing. My last day of work was a wonderful day of ice climbing on Rubicon Wall, Ben Nevis in excellent weather and amazing ice climbing conditions. Today Nigel and I went for a fantastic climb of Observatory Ridge, looking across at Rubicon Wall, in superb weather and (nearly all) dry rock. It was a long three months and it feels very good to be back guiding.
Nigel lives very locally and we have climbed a good few times together in the past. Observatory Ridge was well within our level of ability but that wasn't really the point of the climb today. We wanted a long mountain climb and they don't get much longer or more mountainous than Observatory Ridge. It is 500m long with several pitches of V.Diff and sometimes you have to pitch the whole thing in something like 14 or 15 pitches.
We were also thinking very carefully about keeping 2m separate all the time, not sharing equipment and good hand and face hygiene. This all seemed to work out very well, made easier by the big ledges on the climb. In this respect it felt safer than going to the supermarket!
There was a big cloud behind us as we walked up the Allt a'Mhuilinn and it gave some areas out west some very heavy rain and flash flodding. Thankfully it did not cross the Great Glen and we stayed dry. There was quite a breeze on top which kept us slightly cooler as well, very welcome in the intense heat. There were a few people on the summit enjoying the good weather and views. Dave and Al went up NE Buttress and another team enjoyed Tower Ridge. On such a good day it is rare to see so few people out climbing and on the summit. This is going to change as Scotland relaxes the travel restrictions at the start of July and tourism can start again on 15th July.
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.