The last few days of mild weather has stripped away a lot of the snow cover that we had, but the cold weather has finally returned!
John booked to do CMD Arete and he could not have picked a better day for it. The snow had returned to give the mountains a fresh dusting, the winds were calm and the high clouds cleared away to beautiful sunshine.
After reaching the summit of Carn Mor Dearg we were joined by two snow buntings who proceeded to follow us along the ridge for a bit before they gave up scrounging for food and left us too it. With the fresh snowfall and a fair amount of rime, progress along the ridge is not swift and care should be taken, but the final climb up onto the summit of Ben Nevis was aided by the odd patch of neve which had survived the thaw.
We had a sunny Ben Nevis summit to ourselves which is a very rare treat, then descended the zig-zags. Down to about 1000 metres there is plenty of firm snow and below that it was very icy and slippery - probably the hardest part of the day!
It looks like another stunning day tomorrow so enjoy it if you're getting out there!
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.