Friday was a worse day weather wise and we decided to make our way up the Ben just too see what we might get done. With the driving rain, warm temps and avalanche potential we decided to just make a mass ascent and descent of West gully. A big thanks to Nick and Rich and lets hope the boys get some better weather next year, when they return.
Today I was out with Mariano for his first taste of winter walking. After a session on route planning we made our way up to the North face of the Ben and had a bit of a journey around the north face to give Mariano plenty of time to get used to moving around over different terrain.
The thaw has done some damage with all of the lower level ice falls just about gone. Higher up still looks good and there was good reports from Indicator wall. The Central gullies still looked complete but the whole of Creag Coire na Ciste is still threatened by cornices. Hadrians was climbed today and a team turned away from Point 5 due to a whole in the first pitch. The minus face looked very bare and Orion face has definitely lost a lot of the ice that was there. So winter is far from over and there is still time for ice to build with the forecasted freeze/thaws but there is a lot less choice for now.
My axe for scale, showing the depth of the wet slide that has come out of No.5 gully.