Ive had a few days off over the weekend to catch up with some family. On Wednesday last week Alex and I had a go at Gutless(IV,5) on the Douglas boulder but just like the team a couple of days before us we found the upper chimney completely bare inside so we abseiled off. Today I headed up to the Ben with Ken hoping to get on Gargoyle wall or Lost the place. We made a reasonably early start to try and beat the crowds but as soon as we arrived at the CIC hut it was clear that the thaw from the last few days had taken it's toll. The upper crags in Coire na Ciste where completely black and a lot of the snow that we had hoped might of turned into ice in fact had just disappeared. The snow pack is reasonable variable. The thaw seems not to have penetrated too deep and only the top crust appears to have refrozen. It was still hard going in some places. We decided not to waste the day and followed Al Halewoods footsteps up Reaburns easy route to the summit. We then decided to go down Tower gully so we could get a look at Indicator wall and Observatory Buttress area. These were also very black with little snow and ice present. It felt very alpine today. Teams were on Ledge route, Tower ridge, Green gully and a very thin looking Combe gully.
Observatory gully with Gardyloo Gully Buttress and Tower scoop visible.
Hadrians wall is the ice line on the left and the bottom of Point 5 is in the middle of the picture.