Rintje and I have climbed many of the classic ice climbs over the last seven years. Coming from Holland Rintje really enjoys his annual winter climbing trip to Fort William but this year there is far less snow and ice than he has seen before. Despite this and with the weather being so dry and sunny today we went for a great day of climbing on Castle Ridge on Ben Nevis.
The rock is bone dry and the climbing was excellent. There are a couple of smears of ice on the route but very little really. The views were brilliant all day and we were very well sheltered from the strong southerly wind blowing over the summit. We went up to Carn Dearg to experience the full force of the wind and decided that Ledge Route would be too windy to descend so we went down Number Four Gully instead. All the snow is frozen solid too and there were several teams on mountaineering and intro climbing courses in Coire na Ciste enjoying the dry conditions. Tomorrow looks just as dry and with less wind so we're going to enjoy another classic ridge.
We are forecast a bit of fresh snow on Saturday. Whoop whoop!
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.