Hannah on the initial pitch. Lots of cruddy ice and snow!

Hannah on the initial pitch. Lots of cruddy ice and snow!

Hannah and I were keen to get some climbing done today so after a little weather watching we decided on heading up the Ben to see if Minus Three Gully (IV,5) was ‘in’. I wouldn’t say it was necessarily in good condition but we climbed it anyway making for a tough ascent especially the cave pitch which was steep and held only a small amount of useful ice, it certainly felt committing today and made me work to get established. After the second pitch we took a detour left and into the upper icy grooves of Platform Rib (IV,4) as the remaining pitches of Minus Three were not formed. This alternative finish actually harnessed the better climbing today, I think I will make the effort to climb it in its entirety as the upper section had some great climbing. Overall there were sections of useful snow ice and the odd bulge of good ice for screws but these were all found higher up in the grooves. Zero, Hadrian’s and Point Five were all looking fat, Orions still needs a bit more build up on the initial pitches to get it in its prime, although its not far off and climbable to those who are capable. Other teams were seen on Tower Ridge and a mass ascent of the Curtain was also taking place. We bumped into Rich and Matt who had climbed Italian Right Hand (IV,4) and said it was in superb condition.

Exiting the cave pitch

Exiting the cave pitch

Happy days!

Happy days!

The upper ice grooves on Platform Rib were superb

The upper ice grooves on Platform Rib were superb

Mass ascent of the Curtain!

Mass ascent of the Curtain!

Abseiling down Slingsby's Chimney

Abseiling down Slingsby’s Chimney

3 Responses to “Minus Three Gully, Ben Nevis”

  1. | Vertical Fever

    […] negotiating large deposits of windslab sitting ontop of an icy crust that Hannah and I encountered last week. Mike managed it with caution and soon we were stood under a pretty rocky looking first pitch. Sure […]

    Reply
  2. Two days of ice…… | Vertical Fever

    […] negotiating large deposits of windslab sitting ontop of an icy crust that Hannah and I encountered last week. Mike managed it with caution and soon we were stood under a pretty rocky looking first pitch. Sure […]

    Reply

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