Saturday, 9 March 2013

Windy on the Ben.

I was out with Paddy today for our first day of two, and his first ever winter day, and it was a wild one. We battled in to the CIC hut passing a few teams that had decided to turn around which didn't bode well but our plans meant we could be flexible with were we went. Just above the CIC hut we had a look at some boot work and using crampons and moving about on some more difficult terrain which Paddy picked up quickly, so we headed up through the left hand gulch, which has some fantastic steep ice and made our way up to Garadh gully. The route goes at about II/III at the moment and Paddy cruised it, so something a bit more difficult is needed for tomorrow. We topped out and descended back towards the hut and had a look at placing screws on the lead and building Abolokovs.

The wind did ease as the day went on but it was still wild, lots of teams out on the lower routes with Vanishing and Italian right-hand seeing lots of traffic. I saw two teams on central right-hand but both abseiled off I think and I saw two teams back off from Combe. The ice is in great shape and the snow has firmed up giving fantastic conditions for climbing and even the buttress' are white again.

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