After days of very wet and windy weather, today came as a welcome break in the recent storms, and it was perfect timing for Ben, Max, Thomas, Ernesto, Jeremy and Ben to head up Ben Nevis. The forecast gave a bit of a mixed bag, and certainly didn't promise anything special. But as we climbed so did the clouds. We expected to lose visibility at about half way but the views continued and rounding the corner at 1200m the clouds were just sitting on the summit. There was no view from the top but with the sun just breaking through it made it an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric place to be.
The snow line is currently at about 700m and with the strong winds that the snow came down in over the last couple of days there are a fair number of deep drifts around and a lot of rime higher up on the mountain. There was definitely some old snow that survived the thaw on Wednesday but it is crusty and now covered with a fresh layer so crampons and axes were not needed. It looks like we are getting a very brief thaw tomorrow which will set us up nicely for more low temperatures and snow that is due next week.
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.