Today, Simon and I were treated to some great views of the north face of Ben Nevis this morning on our walk in, with views all the way to the summit. Unfortunately, the views didn’t hang around all day, but the deteriorating weather did enable Simon to have a taste of more traditional Scottish conditions, for every time he had been up in the past, he had enjoyed good weather. Lucky chap!
Simon had booked a second day on a 1:1 basis, so that he could push himself, and have a crack at Tower Ridge, one of the finest winter ridge climbs in the UK, so that’s exactly where we headed to. On our approach, we could see teams on Minus 2 Gully, Orion Face Direct, Orion Directissima, Point 5 Gully and Match Point. One team also possibly headed round to Zero Gully.
Tower Ridge is as snowy as it has been all winter, and much of that snow has consolidated into firm snow/ice, allowing for solid first time axe placements for much of the ridge. The weather closed in as we made steady progress, obscuring any views, but I did catch a brief glimpse of a team topping out of Tower Scoop.
We topped out into almost white-out conditions, with fresh snow falling, but as we made our way to the summit, the weather did clear just momentarily. Plenty of wind-blown snow made for a nice descent of the Red Burn, well most the way, the lower reaches are quite bare now. I was working for Atlas Mountaineering.
I’m off to Skye tomorrow to deliver some ‘summer’ mountaineering this coming week, I wonder if all the snow will have melted by then…