Today was another day of violent winds blowing down the mountains from the south east. I don't know why it is but SE winds seems to accellerate as they descend the mountain and it is often windier half way down than on the summit. It was certaimnly quite hard work walking straight into the wind up the Allt a'Mhuilinn path towards the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis. We nearly decided to turn back but managed to keep going until we got to the CIC HGut cascades AKA The Organ Pipes.
Bob wanted to make sure his gear placements are good and his belay set-ups are good. He placed some rock anchors and some ice screws and linked points together to make belay anchors in various different ways. All this was on the first climb to the right of the Organ Pipes which would be better if it freezes properly! We got up to Avalanche Gully above and found something like a shelter in the wind scoop at its base for a welcome respite and lunch stop. We then climbed the first pitch of Waterfall Gully, placed an ice v-thread and abseiled off.
We have not lost much ice at all and the snow was starting to refreeze even down at 800m. The weekend will be very cold so everything will freeze solid again but it does look like it will remain windy. Next week looks like another great week for ice climbing!
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.