Out of the rain and into the snow

Out of the rain and into the snow

Duncan, Ken and I went up to the North face of Ben Nevis yesterday in search of something to climb. As the rain came sheeting down there were lots of people heading the opposite way, however we decided to keep wandering ever higher into the Comb to see what was about. It was a slight battle of will power to keep on plodding upwards in ever worsening weather but thankfully we did and came away with a great day spent with friends climbing No.2 Gully and descending No.3.

Mucking around on some good ice

Mucking around on some good ice

Lots of spindrift in the strong winds

Lots of spindrift in the strong winds

A brief lull in No.2 Gully

A brief lull in No.2 Gully

Smiles all round

Smiles all round

For me it was a great opportunity to gather more information on potential routes to guide this winter, it was Duncan’s last day before heading south and Ken led the way passing over his knowledge having previously worked on the route (you can read his excellent blog here). No.2 is particularly atmospheric, with high enclosed walls on either side, great belays on rock and a nice grade II top out. There was hardly a cornice and where there was ice it was forming fast (if a little cruddy just now). No.3 Gully is quite steep at the top but down-climbable with a little care, again there was no cornice which allowed a quick and safe descent back into the North Face. It wont take long for the higher ice routes to come into condition and with temperatures due to drop a little, this week may produce some good climbing.

Windy up top!

Windy up top!

Looking like we are trying to get signal whilst getting hammered by spindrift

Looking like we are trying to get signal whilst getting hammered by spindrift

Its not always about the grades, more about the company

Its not always about the grades, more about the company