Yesterday John and I walked into Meagaidh to climb Staghorn Gully (III). Dave decided to join us as we had a last minute change of plans so it was a sociable outing in what felt like a heat wave! We made short work of the lower section by moving together as it was very well stepped with easy short sections of grade II which landed us at the foot of the main pitches. There was only one other team on the route, which surprised me after all the good weather we have been experiencing and another just round the corner on South Pipe (who reported it running with water and being very soggy). Knowing that John was keen to start racking up the grade III’s whilst getting plenty of crampon time it suited us perfectly. it was a lovely, still day on the hill although a little too warm meaning most of the routes were dripping/pouring, im sure we wont loose them but another cold snap should bring them back into pristine condition.

John about to start the interesting bit

John about to start the interesting bit

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After hearing about all this ‘Alpine blue sky’ weather we have been having on Ben Nevis it was time to go check out what I have been missing. The route choice was less important to us but the fact that neither of us want to queue for hours or stand on belays getting bashed by other climbers debris meant we would choose something/anything that was free. By the time we got to the CIC we thought the hill would have been mobed but again to our surprise there were few people actually on routes, which meant we were infact first underneath Orion’s Face and it was as late as 9 o’clock! A swift bit of gearing up on pretty steep slopes the teams started to arrive, we decided to quickly switch objectives and got on a fat looking Zero Gully (V,4) which was simply superb! The ice was just so chewy it was a joy to climb and although the gear wasn’t always bomber it was certainly adequate on the steeper sections. Belays were hard won but again we knew it had a bit of a reputation so just got on with it!……Loads of routes being climbed. 3 teams in Point Five which is mega stepped out, Italian Climb looked super fat, Orions Face looked like it had taken a battering but mega ice on the harder section (thin traverse), vaniching looked mega, ‘Team Brenin’ climbed Slav Route (update – it was Orion Directissima VI,5) which looked superb and has now moved up my list of ‘to dos’, Tower and NE were being climbed by many who said they were stonking! What a day to be on the Ben, I will let the pictures do the talking. More to follow after the weekend……

Fat and busy Point Five Gully

Fat and busy Point Five Gully

Orion, Zero and the Minus Face

Orion, Zero and the Minus Face

First pitch of Zero

First pitch of Zero

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Happy with another amazing day

Happy with another amazing day

Scotland at its best!

Scotland at its best!