While Mike and Gill are away on the Summer ML Assessment mini-break, I (Sally) was on CMD Arete and Ben Nevis with Sascha. There was fresh snow visible down to about 800m and more wintry showers due throughout the course of the morning. It turned out to be a very Scottish day with sun, rain, hail, and snow all before we reached the summit of Carn Mor Dearg, then the weather calmed down in time for the arete, giving us great views down to Steall Falls. The arete is now completely free of old snow, as is the final ascent onto Ben Nevis from the top of Coire Leis, so crampons were not needed at all today. The snow line for the old snow when coming up from the arete is right at the edge of the plateau where the ground levels out, however the thin layer of fresh snow has made all the rocks incredibly slippy so care should be taken if heading up there in the next day or two. The sun was just trying to break through the clouds as we reached the summit of Ben Nevis, then gave us a warm and sunny descent back to the car.
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.