For the last day of climbing with Elved and Tony we went back up to Ben Nevis to climb Green Gully. Elved has a new prosthetic foot and we've been working out what we can do and how big we can go with winter climbing. The climbing itself has been going very well (Elved was a good climber before his accident and that has not changed) but there are many other things to work out. It's all been going very well so today we went for the summit plateau of Ben Nevis and Green Gully was the perfect way to get there. We managed the climb very smoothly and the walk off went well too. I think we'll be back onto classic big grade V routes next year.
A strong NE wind was blowing snow around and we had a few showers of fresh snow. The wind was swirling around the coires and straight up the gully, creating new pockets of wind slab in a few places and scouring the faces and gullies. The cornices were being eroded too. Green Gully is fat with snow ice and great fun. The left hand finish has no cornice but the right hand exit does have a cornice. The Curtain was popular as well as Tower Ridge, Orion Direct and Zero Gully. It might be a busy weekend with a good forecast and great ice conditions so get up early or go to a slightly less well known climb such as Pinnacle Buttress Direct or Mercury. There are lots of great routes so there is no need to wait in a queue.
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.