This was one of the best days I've spent on Ben Nevis. Occasionally we get days of sunshine and I have enjoyed plenty of them in the past. It takes a bit of cloud along with ther sunshine to really show off all the complex ridges, gullies and buttresses of the north face though and today we had just the right combination of sunshine, dry rock, light breeze and cloud. It really doesn't get much better.
Lachlan, Alasdair climbed Tower Ridge Ben Nevis in the winter and didn't see a thing. This was a real shame for the guys but they were not put off. Instead they tried again and it payed off today. We climbed Tower Ridge again and the contrast with our winter climb couldn't have been much greater. We got an early start and watched the cloud burn away as we walked up in the shaddow of Carn Mor Dearg. As soon as we got onto the dry rock of the ridge the sunshien warmed our backs and the mist swirled gently around the coire beklow our feet, coming and going in huge gentle waves.
Although the cloud was rising during the day we stayed above it all the way to the top and didn't see anyone else on the North Face. There were plenty of people on the summit watching our progress and enjoying the sunshien as well. We went over to Number Four Gully to check out the saxifrages growing there (all doing quite well by the look of them) before descending Ledge Route for a different way down and to escape the busy Pony Track. Well done Lachlan and Alasdair, I'm glad you got to see it today. Good luck on the Matterhorn!
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.