I’m just back from a two day Ben Nevis Mountaineering Trip with John and a Falkirk Community Trust Outdoors team of Billy, Brian, Devon, Jack, Kathryn and Linda. High winds meant the Nevis Range Gondola wasn’t running on Saturday, which changed our plans. After walking in to the CIC Hut we did a traverse of the Douglas Gap up the West Gully of the Douglas Gap and down the East with Devon and Kathryn leading pitches of the West Gully.
The southerly winds were forecast higher again for Sunday, so we opted for sheltered routes with an ascent of Garadh Gully, which currently has a short section of Grade III ice. We then descended in to Coire na Ciste and climbed Moonlight Gully before descending it by abseil to level with the top of Moonlight Gully Buttress and then traversing back in to Coire na Ciste. As we walked down from the CIC Hut it was raining heavily below 600m on a wind gusting circa 50mph.
Two excellent days despite the less than ideal wind levels.
I was out on Ben Nevis today doing a workshop run by Rich Bentley. We travelled around a good section of the hill.
Starting on the West side of The Douglas Boulder we headed up past the foot of Vanishing Gully and Italian Climb; up to the foot of Creag Coire na Ciste and over to the base of Number 4 Gully before traversing across under Number 4 Gully Buttress to join the ridge on it’s West side to gain the summit plateau. We then descended the top section of Ledge Route and traversed across the top of Moonlight Gully Butttress to regain Coire na Ciste.
Some rain on the walk in, falling as snow above the CIC hut. Winds seemed lighter than forecast. There’s a lot of snow high on Ben Nevis with some easier gullies that would often contain a step being completely banked out e.g. Garadh Gully. The older snow is generally firm. The recent snow is wet and should consolidate well with a frost, with the exception of very high up where there are some crusty areas that haven’t had a significant thaw.