Saturday, 22 January 2011

Busy on the Ben.

This morning Ken and I decided to head up onto the Ben. We thought we would have a reasonably early start but not too early. as we were putting our boots on in the top car park we were passed by a line of about 17 headtorchs and as we looked up the path we could see a lot more. So we joined the procession and headed up. We had decided to head for Pinnacle Buttress of the tower to have a look at Stringfellow(VI,6) or Pinnacle Buttress direct (V,5). As we walked in we could see loads of parties ahead of us heading into Observatory Gully but very few into Coire na Ciste. The cloud today was hovering around the summit so we got a good view as we stood by the lochains. Our chosen route didn't really look to be in from where we were so after alot of discussion between us both all it took was a friendly passer by to recommend Slab climb and we were off. The route looked to be in good condition and it gave good hooks and useful neve unfortunately the cracks were iced up and gear required a bit of digging out. Pitch 1 didn't really give any problems but pitch two was a different matter. After about an hour Ken was only about 8m up and still looking for his first bit of gear. Eventually he managed to dig out a small chock stone which he ended up lowering off and we retreated. Lots of other teams out today, point 5 had a no.of teams on it, Green gully must of had at least 7 or 8 teams up it. Darthvader, Babylon, Sioux wall, Gargoyle wall, No. 3 gully Buttress, Tower face of the comb all had teams on them some moving just as slow as us. Also Glover's Chimney, Comb gully, Central gully and Central gully right hand were busy. No pics today sorry, I forgot my camera.  

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