Friday, 12 February 2016

A day for being flexible.

I walked into the Ben this morning with Kate, along with Gill and Andy and their guys. We had planned to head into the Ciste with a few options. It became very clear quite soon that there was a lot of snow being shifted around, with spindrift pouring down some of the faces and the top of the mountain disappearing every now and then. We started up the slopes under No.5 but we soon bumped into Donald and Jonathan who were heading away for coffee and cake after setting off a couple of small avalanches. We took note of what they had said and moved on for a couple of minutes more, I decided at this point that I wasn't happy with our original plan and as we caught up with the other guys to let them know our new plan we bumped into Blair and Dave, who had a very similar story to tell.

Instead of heading higher and across to the Douglas boulder, we decided to head down under the Gulches so as to avoid any terrain traps and across to the slopes under the DB. Whilst we were doing this we set off three small isolated slab avalanches of varying size and the steepest on was only on a 30 degree slope. We made our way round carefully to the foot of Fawlty Towers, which looked in great nick but soon showed it's true colours as a small amount of cruddy snow and ice sat on wet loose rock. I down climbed back to the belay and we traversed across to the SW ridge of the Douglas Boulder and climbed a couple of pitches of this before we abseiled off. 

Ben Nevis, winter climbing

A beautiful morning.

Ben Nevis, winter climbing

The first of 3 small avalanches we released.

Ben Nevis, winter climbing


Ben Nevis, winter climbing

The small crown wall of avalanche number 2.

Ben Nevis, winter climbing

Kate surrounded by blocks from slide number 3.

Ben Nevis, winter climbing

Good conditions on the route but still a few loose blocks.

Ben Nevis, winter climbing

Ben Nevis, winter climbing

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