Both Mike and I were prepared for some wet weather today, wearing full waterproofs and our rubber gloves we were somewhat overdressed in what turned out to be another stunning day. The plan was to head up to the Ciste, practise some ice axe braking before trying to find a bit of ice to climb. There is quite allot of patchy ice hanging in there but nothing to really write home about unfortunately.

No3 Gully Buttress

We made a beeline for three promising ice lines between Green Gully and No3 Gully Buttress but both were pouring with water and probably grade V+ which wasn’t going to suit today’s plan. We ended up climbing the first pitch of No.3 GB with the intention of traversing over towards Green and abseiling back down. Instead we got lured into a nice ribbon of ice which took us to a very rocky finale up No.3 GB which didn’t require axes just a little care not to knock any loose rocks off. Our group of guys are all rock climbing in the E grades so time was spent looking at the differences when placing gear and belaying in winter aswell as some coaching on ice and placing ice protection. Sometimes its safer and easier to continue upwards even though the top of the route was certainly not in winter condition.

Other teams in North Gully, Number 3 and Number 4 Gully. The BMG trainees and instructors were all on Tower Ridge and another team was on Ledge Route.

Mike looking at snow anchors

Mike looking at snow anchors

Nice to be climbing ice

Nice to be climbing ice

Kevin loving his time on Ben Nevis

Kevin loving his time on Ben Nevis

Another stunning day up high

Another stunning day up high