After an amazing day on Monday, the temperature rose and it started to rain at all levels. We've had two wet days with the freezing level above the tops and we have lost a lot of ice and all the rime that was on the rocks. It was a bit drier today and it was nice to get back up Ben Nevis to see what snow cover has been left behind. The clouds broke away in the eraly afternoon and gave us a very good view of the whole face.
Snow cover above 900m is still pretty good. The big gullies are full of snbow still and most of the rocks in the coires are buried. Tower Ridge has snow on it as does NE Buttress and some on Observatory Ridge but Castle Ridge has little snow. There is still a little ice hanging on The Curtain, The Cascade and random blobs elsewhere. There's snow-ice in some gullies such as Central Right Hand and South Gully, Green Gully and Point Five Gully but also a lot of water running down.
We have several more days of thaw to endure but they will be mostly dry. I hope we will not lose much more snow but I think the remaining bits of ice will fall off. Today I was working with Nadir, Jon and Sally on a photography shoot. We climbed a very nice piece of ice on Number Three Gully Buttress to the right of Green Gully and abseiled off. The line of Number Three Gully Buttress was very wet indeed and quite unpleasant to climb! It seems like mountaineering ridges and skiing the big gullies will provide the best fun for the next wee while until it cools down again.
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.