Our first days climbing had begun like any other, however this was my first time climbing on Ben Nevis and i was sooo psyched it was untrue. our plan was to head up and climb either the curtain or Glover's chimney depending on conditions.
Leaving the north face car park (which is located in Torlundy on the way out of fort William on the way to speen bridge), i didn't know what to expect whilst walking through the woods but couldn't wait for what was in store for us. we where sure on what the weather was going to be like as the night before was quite cloudy but once out the woods we got a view of the kingdom of Ben Nevis which had zero cloud and glorious blue skies all around. i couldn't believe my luck, first time Scottish winter climbing and these were just amazing conditions to cut my teeth on.
at the CIC hut we decided to go against our original plans and headed over to minus three gully IV 5 ***.
|image curtisy of cliff lowther|
the route was in great conditon and amazing climbing all the way to meet the north east buttress. we did the route in 4 pitches and enjoyed every one. at he top of the gully we had to opions, we could ab down or continue up north east buttress.
we obviously decided to continue up the ridge and we were glad we did, what an amazing route it was and for anyone doing the route dont avoid the man trap :-p
we rapped down number 4 gully using an already in palce snow bollard and walked back down to the car.
what an AMAZING day.
The next day we had a rest day because we were in bits, lol.
On our final day we decided to do vanishing gully V 5, the walk up this time felt alot easyier and at the bottom of the route everything was sweet.
cliff led the first pitch, which was a great pitch and he gad a monster run out on step technical ground( very impressive) as i popped my head over the the top and all i could see was cliff stood in a water fall at the belay( not gonna lie i found it funny).
the second pitch was mine which consisted of step ice and long run outs (paradise if you ask me).
We rapped down 1934 route and we were off.
my first weekends climbing on the ben and im hooked, there something winter climbing that just sets it aside from any other form of climbing, its an adventure and its not just all about the route you climb but the lead up to it, the company and the getting down off the mountain that all adds up to a exceptional and memorable day out.
with other styles of climbing you remember the routes in bits and bobs but Scottish winter routes have more depth and stick with you longer.