At last the clouds left the hills and we had a beautiful day today. A frost formed this morning after some snow showers over night. The walk up the path by the Allt a'Mhuillin is icy and treacherous and there is of course lots of soft snow on every aspect of slope. The snow seems reasonably stable though so Josh, Andrew and I went to climb Comb Gully.
Despite the cold conditions this week there is little ice in the gullies. Ironically (after the succession of deep thaws and refreezes in the Autumn) we need a thaw and refreeze to consolidate the soft snow and produce some water to freeze into ice. So the climbing was delicate in Comb Gully with the crux being the first steep bulge at the top of the easy lower section. With a little cunning the route gives fun climbing though and we made it to the brilliant views at the top.
We went to Number Four Gully and descended this back into the coire. We abseiled off a snow bollard but there is no cornice and it is easy just to walk down the gully. In fact there are very few cornices anywhere on Ben Nevis.
Green Gully is about the same and it had a couple of ascents along with Number Three Gully Buttress, Thompson's Route and Central Gully on Creag Coire na Ciste. Tower Ridge was quite busy and Ledge Route was even busier.
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.