Ben Nevis delivered in fine style yesterday as Duncan and I tried a new line I have been eyeing up since abseiling into West Gully at the start of the season. As usual it was steeper than it looked from the ground and I certainly felt Mondays efforts in the forearms! Arriving whilst the route was in good condition and temperatures still below freezing, we raced the thaw up the crag and managed to get back home for tea and medals by early afternoon. A sustained first and second pitch with good hooks, torques, bomber turf and superb gear it was certainly worth at least a star.
Inception (V,7) 95m
Ascend West Gully of the Douglas Boulder for 15m. On the right wall and directly opposite the start of SW Ridge is a left facing corner ramp. The first two pitches can be linked with careful rope management
(1) 15m. Climb the corner direct, strenuous but well protected and belay below a broken chimney – superb
(2) 15m. Climb the constricted chimney and steep upper corner to a large spike belay
(3) 45m. Ascend a shallow cracked wall on the left then continue over snow slopes on a rising rightward traverse aiming for a steep ice runnel. Climb the thin ice runnel for 6m and belay on the left before a short chimney
(4) 20m. The chimney and snow grooves on the left lead to Tower Ridge