The gods smiled on us.
Yesterday Bob, Will and I with Ellie as co-pilot took the long drive to Applecross. From the top of Beallach na Ba it is a fairly flat walk in to Beinn Bhan and easy descent into Coire an Fhamair where there is a particularly impressive cliff. Gully of the Gods has been very well iced up and climbed quite frequently for a few weeks now and it was our chance yesterday. It also gave us shelter from the very strong wind! It's an amazing climb that is intimidating but also quite reasonable once you get going. We were all completely buzzing from the experience and delighted to get such a good climb on a pretty challenging day.
Today the gentle thaw continued with even stronger winds but we also got some precipitation. This fell as rain initially but came down as snow to 600m or so by this afternoon. Wet snow combined with ferocious gusts of winds made it a very tough day to be climbing. We had three teams out; Will and Mason went to Number Two Gully on the West Face of Aonach Dubh and descended by Coire nan Lochan, Phil and Keith climbed Fawlty Towers on the west flank of Tower Ridge and Caspar went to the CIC Hut cascades next to The Organ Pipes for some ice climbing with Helen.
It got colder during the day and it will carry on getting colder through the weekend. The snow is wet and soft right now but it will be hard and icy by the weekend. We have not lost much ice at all in this little thaw and it looks like the snow cover and ice will be with us until the end of the month at least. Traditionally, Easter was always the best time of year to be climbing on Ben Nevis. It looks like this will be the case this year.
What did you take for rack for GoftG? Does it need lots of mixed gear ATM or is more of an ice screws deal currently?
Take big wires for the first pitch and ice screws for the second pitch. It was pure mixed on the first pitch and pure ice on the second!
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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.