Ben Nevis

On Ben Nevis today with Euan, Sharon, Ian and Steve. We were hoping Vanishing Gully would be sheltered from the winds today, but the wind was fairly wild and gusting around the coire so we opted for Fawlty Towers with a variation finish trending left rather than right after the icy chimney and taking in a nice chimney/mixed section higher up. We then descended the ridge, abseiled down in to the Douglas Gap and descended The Douglas Gap East Gully. The icy chimney on Fawlty Towers was pretty well iced, and taking screws if you were selective, but probably climbing hard for the grade at the moment. Some loose rock on the upper variation required care.

Sharon and Steve in the icy chimney

Sharon and Steve in the icy chimney

A team abseiling off Vanishing Gully after the first pitch reported it dripping heavily at the first belay. A few other teams out today with one climbing Central Gully Right-Hand in good condition, but with pretty strong winds. Quite a few teams turning back from the coire today due to the wind.

Mac with the angle of the rucsack strap hinting at the wind

Mac with the angle of the rucsack strap hinting at the wind

Some light rain/sleet on the walk in and the snow flurries through the day. Below freezing at crag height all day with turf well frozen and a thin coating of verglas on a lot of the rock. Old snow generally very firm and care required approaching routes. The crags were riming up during the day in the moist cold air. Strong East/South-Easterly wind, but swirling around the hill and with some gusts of circa 70mph in the coires.