Super icy on Ben Nevis.
Another thaw yesterday fed the snow with water to dribble down the ice climbs and form more ice now that it is frezing properly. Today was dry, clear to the tops for much of the day but pretty windy as well. Elved, Tony and I did not want to go very high due to the wind so we went to the Minus Face and climbed a great couple of routes between Slingsby's Chimney and Minus Three Gully. First up was Platforms Rib which actually follows a groove about 6m left of Minus Three Gully. We abseiled down Slingsby's Chimney and landed at the foot of Right Hand Wall Route which was another lovely grade IV climb back to First Platform. The wind did drop later this afternoon but we were very happy with our two climbs.
The Minus Face was popular, as it has been for a few weeks now. Minus Three Gully had a couple of ascents and Yann and team went to Minus One Gully but I do not know how they got on. The wind was blowing up the face all day, carrying spindrift up into our faces as we tried to peer down to see our next foot placements. At least we new there was no avalanche risk where we were and the wind chill effect was firming up the ice and snow more quickly.
Mega Route X had a couple of ascents today and it was said to be taking good ice screws. All the big classic ice climbs are fat with ice. Rubicon Wall looks very good as well - Left Edge Route and Rubicon Wall look very nice, as well as Observatory Buttress. There is a certain amount of crust snow around on the climbs so some of the climbing might be a bit more awkward than it might be.
In Coire na Ciste there are big cornices above the gullies on Creag Coire na Ciste, some above The Comb and along the top of The Cascades. The big snow gullies are corniced as well. The Fawlty Towers area is poretty good and popular, The Crtain looked a bit thin at the top but Vanishing Gully looks OK - I don't know if it is good ice though.
Gemini melted away and The Shroud looks too thin and patchy for me. Waterfall Gully is still there as well as Boomers Requiem and Compression Cracks.
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