For the last day of the Ellis Brigham photoshoot with Nadir Khan we went back up Ben Nevis to climb Italian Right Hand. We got some heavy showers of rain last night in town and there were big puddles next to the roads. We had some more as we walked in but the rest of the day was dry. However there was a bit of fresh snow on the slopes of Ben Nevis and with plenty of grauple mixed in with it. Lots of people seemed unsure of the avalanche hazard this gave us and either changed plans or bailed out altogether. With a cautious approach, Sally, Caspar, Nadir and I got to the climb and it turned out to be very good to climb and secure from avalanche hazard.
The ice is fat and very friendly on Italian Right Hand. It is solid enough for meaningful ice screws and soft enough for easy placements. During the showers we got plenty of spindrift but the showers dried up during the day and we enjoyed some lovely sunshine this afternoon. Other teams were climbing big classics such as Orion Direct and Sickle but I'm not sure anyone went into Point Five Gully which was a good one to avoid given the spindrift! It warmed up gently but not greatly and the climbing conditions seem to be pretty stable.
We have another cold week forecast and we might get some more snow falling to reasonably low levels. After the pest from the west last week we will get the beast from the east mark three. There will be plenty of winter climbing, walking and skiing on offer during the Easter holidays. In fact it's likely the rock climbing and biking will be very good too! It's all here in the Outdoor Capital of the UK!
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.