9th to 11th April Ben Nevis and Aonoch Mor

Based in Fort William over the last few days with David, Graham and Colin. Friday we were on Ben Nevis and climbed Tower Scoop and Tower Gully. The ice on Tower Scoop was soft, but ok. Later in the day Observatory Gully was receiving a lot of debris from the Indicator Wall area, which was setting off minor wet slab avalanches.
Colin on the lower section of Tower Scoop

Colin on the lower section of Tower Scoop

Tower Gully Cornice

Tower Gully Cornice

Saturday David, Colin and I opted for an alpine style ridge and headed for Western Rib on the West Face of Aonoch Mor. This face isn’t seeing the sun until about 11:00 am and gave an excellent 500m route on snow, granite and suprisingly well frozen turf. Some care was required with the odd loose block.

Ben Nevis from Aonoch Mor

Ben Nevis from Aonoch Mor

Sunday Colin and I headed for the West Face of Aonoch Mor again, whilst Graham and David chose sunny rock climbing in Glen Nevis. We climbed Daim Buttress, giving another 500m of very alpine style scrambling/climbing. This route seems to catch more sun and the turf was generally soft and to be avoided except in shaded corners. The rock gave good sport, but much more care was required with loose blocks, particularly through the crux area on the left of the slabs.

Daim Buttress

Daim Buttress

The weather was stunning with high temperatures and wall to wall sunshine on Saturday and Sunday. A little refreeze over Saturday night, but most things are softening up and gullies are catching a lot of snow and ice from the sides as temperatures warm up. A second hand report that Point 5 was climbed on Sunday and despite an early start the upper sections were unpleasantly lively with slides from above.