Sally is preparing for her Winter Mountain Leader so she and I went for a walk up Stob Ban to go through a few things in preparation. She has been getting out doing lots and lots of winter walking so she's completely up to spead and we on to the fine details now. Stob Ban North Ridge is a really nice route with excellent views down Glen Nevis. There is a tricky section that might warrant grade I before the North Top of Stob Ban which was fine today. Snow was being blown around but there is only a thin cover in most places.
We went over the top of Stob Ban and down to South Gully. It was clear that the wind had been blowing up this gully and scoured out the edges of the gully to the hard old snow underneath, making it secure for us to go down the gully. There was a deep line of soft wind slab in the gully that we avoided though and it could well be the same in many grade I gullies right now. There was lots of graupel (rimed up snowflakes that act like polystyrene beads) in the snow lower down and the areas of wind slab we saw were relatively easy to trigger.
The rocks were well frozen though and ice has been forming. Over on Ben Nevis Central Gully on Creag Coire na Ciste was climbed on ice and Lost the Place was climbed too.There is now rime on the rocks so the mixed climbing is in!
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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.