Duncan arrived a few days ago for his annual Christmas trip. Conditions haven’t exactly been stellar recently but as usual we put the effort in to see if anything was possible high up on Ben Nevis. After a couple of aborted attempts over the last couple of days, today we enjoyed some much needed success on a relatively new route on the Upper Trident Buttress. Titan Cracks (V,6) was established by Simon Richardson and Helen Rennard in 2012 and gives a super option high up in a quiet area of Ben Nevis. For such a small buttress its fairly complex and with only two recorded routes in the most recent guidebook it takes a little investigation to intemperate the correct line. Steep, good hooks, good gear and possibly the 2nd ascent of a fine route – what’s not to like!
Very early this morning conditions were excellent. Ice had been forming fast over the last couple of days, mixed routes were nice and white and the turf (on our chosen route) was well frozen where exposed. Unfortunately by the time we descended No.4 Gully (approx 1245) the buttresses were once again looking dark and the rain was falling at the top of the Ciste. With temperatures due to drop tomorrow and through the week, next weekend looks like it could produce some good ice to climb.