Saturday, 12 February 2011

Back on the Ben again.

I've a busy period coming up and I am feeling a bit under the weather but with a good forecast I didn't want to waste a day. James and I had a late start this morning, knowing it was going to be busy we couldn't really be bothered to fight for routes so we thought we would just take what was left.

When we arrived at the CIC hut it became apparent that most of the big lines had been taken in Observatory Gully area and there was still a line of teams heading that way so we decided to head into Coire na Ciste and see what was there. It was busy here too so we kept our eyes open as we geared up just above the lochains. Teams were on the Clanger, Slab climb, Glovers chimney, Thompson route and Central gully right hand to name a few.

James leading the ice pitch on Central gully.

The guys on Thompson route had been there a while and I haven't done this route yet so we went for that hoping the team on it would have cleared the first belay by the time we had got there. Unfortunately this didn't happen so we changed our minds and traversed right to the foot of the central gullys. James Thacker had just started up Central gully right hand and I knew Richard Bentley was heading there too so we thought we would just head up central gully to stay out of the way. 100m of good steady climbing on some very friendly ice saw us top out onto the plateau. We descended No.4 gully which did have some pockets of wind slab but they were avoidable and headed back for an early bath. Busiest I've seen the Ben this season.  

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