The Ben in all its glory

The Ben in all its glory

The team on Hardian's Wall looked to be having fun today

The team on Hardian’s Wall looked to be having fun today

Superb conditions

Superb conditions

Point Five Gully has become something of a trade route for budding climbers but with all the grade X’s in the news over previous seasons its possibly become a bit of a ‘normality’ route for some. I have passed underneath it on many occasion, always bustling with teams of climbers fighting for their position in the queue, all attempting to dodge the mass excavation of ice that some like to throw down routes. Its taken a long time but today Duncan and I managed to climb it without a single second waiting at belays and only a reasonable amount of ice to dodge from above.

Pitch 1 of Point Five Gully was FAT

Pitch 1 of Point Five Gully was FAT

Dunc on the excellent Pitch 2

Dunc on the excellent Pitch 2

We didn’t leave the van until 9:30, our plan was to go late in the hope any teams would be well up the route before we arrived. Both car parks were packed full so we were a little apprehensive about our cunning plan. As it turns out there were two teams established on the route but we didn’t catch either of them up, nor did we particularity want to. The route itself was in superb condition. Steep with ‘hero’ ice in all the right places, plenty of good ice for screws, not chopped out and no trail of footprints to follow which happens mid season on the popular Ben Nevis ice routes. We managed to escape the route just as it went dark, smug that our plan had worked – a great day out!

Pitch 3 was probably the best on the route today

Pitch 3 was probably the best on the route today

Superb climbing on the crux

Superb climbing on the crux

Mega spindrift

Mega spindrift

Happy days

Happy days