Another brilliant sunny day, one of several this week. Jonathan, Will and I went up to climb the route of the year, East Ridge of Douglas Boulder. It seems like everyone I know has climbed it so it was my turn today and it was great for Will and Jonathan. Simon Richardson made the first ascent only a few years ago and already it has turned into a very popular climb.
The climb is best done in three pitches with the first and last being about grade III. The middle pitch has two steep but short corners each with great protection and very good hooks. Doing the Double Douglas makes for a fine day out combining the SW Ridge with the E Ridge of Douglas Boulder but we were happy with just the E Ridge today. The sun was shining and we had a picnic on top soaking up the atmosphere of the incredible north face of Ben Nevis.
This week The Cascade and Comb Gully Buttress were climbed by a visiting French team. Waterfall Gully looks good to climb and there is some ice forming in the climbs with springs at their tops. The gullies have soft snow in them and not much ice - a thaw and refreeze will be needed to bring these in to nice climbing condition. Mixed climbs are still good and it was a busy day on Stob Coire nan Lochan with ascents of Unicorn, Satyr, Tilt, Crest Route and others. More snow tomorrow and staying cold until Wednesday.
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.