Winter seems to be returning.
For the second day of training with the Nevis Landscape Partnership Trainee Volunteer Rangers we decided to make the most of the great weather and go high. Most of them had not done much mountaineering or used crampons before so we went for a climb up Ledge Route on Ben Nevis. This gave us the chance to talk about the great influence Ben Nevis has had on climbing for the last century, the challenges in looking after people on the mountain and managing their impact as well as coaching some winter skills and rope work. As well as all this the sun was shining all day!
In the sunshine it was very warm and the snow went quite soft after firming up over night. On Ledge Route there are also a couple of sections low down where the snow has melted away completely but most of the climb is still well covered. In the shade it was much better for climbing and there were people climbing Point Five Gully and Orion Direct. Richard and Gordon climbed Tower Ridge which was continuously snowy all the way. We have northerly winds forecast until the end of the month now bringing unseasonably cold weather and a return to winter climbing. The freezing level could be down to 600m next week and we have excellent snow cover and some very good ice climbing in place already. In fact, Centurion is looking pretty dry right now so I wonder if anyone will go for the ultimate Ben Nevis double of Orion Direct and Centurion in one day.
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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.