Day two of the Mountaineering course for Abacus Mountain Guides and today we headed into Ben Nevis with the plan of staying low and trying to find some shelter. Turned out that wasn't really an issue, there was some wind about but nowhere near the kind of speeds that had been forecast. There were some very heavy showers and our footprints were filling in very quickly as we moved about. We spent the day under the Douglas Boulder looking at snow anchors and ice axe arrest. The only other group we saw on the mountain kindly did the hard work for us and dug some shelters and we just went and looked at how and why we might choose to dig or use one.
The team working up a sweat digging bucket seats.
Conditions wise, Douglas boulder area could be worth a look tomorrow with ice starting to form and frozen turf where it is exposed. Ice is trying to form again on the lower ice routes but with the freezing level due to rise again through tomorrow it might not last too long. Higher up the mountain though I think the ice will be coming along nicely and harder mixed lines would be worth a shot. There is a lot of snow up there at the moment but with the strong winds there are definitely areas of snow erosion and deposition going on and it maybe possible to get something done if you go in with an open mind and are careful with the route you choose.