With views up to the summits for much of the day and with cold, calm conditions, it was a great day to be out on Ben Nevis today. I was out with Andrew, who is looking to develop his winter climbing. With the forecast looking to deteriorate a bit over the next couple days, we decided to make the most of today and squeeze in as much climbing as we could by climbing Central Gully R/H, before down-climbing No. 3 Gully and making an ascent of Thompson’s Route and finally descending No. 3 Gully once again.
Both routes were a little on the lean side (think icy-mixed), but provided plenty of interesting climbing. It isn’t possible to place many ice screws at the moment though! The snow on the pitches above the top of the main chimney of Thompson’s was particularly awkward, with a thick but breakable icy crust covering deep, unconsolidated snow.
Other teams on North East Buttress, Platform Rib, Point 5 Gully, Tower Ridge, SW Ridge of the Douglas Boulder, Fawlty Towers, Cornucopia, The Curtain, Ledge Route, The Shield Direct, Gemini and a steep line of ice to the left of the CIC Cascades.
We have one space on our final two Winter Mountaineering Courses running 4-8 and 18-22 March, so please get in touch if you’re interested.