Ben Nevis

I was back out on Ben Nevis again today with John and Chris. Chris hadn’t worn crampons before and there was a good bit fresh snow, so we headed up in to the back of Coire Leis where we used easy angled old snow to get used to crampons and axe. We then put the rope on and made our way up to the North end of the horizontal section of the Carn Mor Dearg Arete linking scoured snow and rocky sections. After traversing the CMD Arete we made our way up to the summit before descending the Zig Zags and then back to the Allt a’Mhuillinn.

Chris and John approaching the Carn Mor Dearg Arete.

Chris and John approaching the Carn Mor Dearg Arete.

There’s been a fair bit of fresh snow over the last couple of days and the more recent snow was forming soft wind slab in sheltered locations on lots of aspects above 650m; some of this is sitting on a graupel layer from earlier in the week, which is on top of old neve. If you’re out and about in the snow over the weekend choose your route and approach wisely. It’s worth noting the Scottish Avalanche Information Service is providing forecasts for Lochaber and the Northern Cairngorms for this weekend.

Two days in Lochaber

I have been out in the Lochaber area for the last two days with the Falkirk High Tops Team. Yesterday, we began at the top of the Aonach Mor gondola station before traversing underneath the west face and climbing towards Carn Dearg Meadhonach. To gain the summit we climbed part of the East Ridge but also a snow gully on its north flank to make the most of the snow conditions. From the summit we descended to the CIC hut to overnight.

Overnight, heavy snow fell on strong winds. Therefore, we chose not to climb Ledge Route but instead traversed the CMD Arete before summiting the Ben and descending the Glen Nevis. This two day expedition gives a great route which is achievable in a variety of conditions.

A short video will soon be posted of the CMD Arete on the climbnow facebook page,

Tom climbing on Carn Dearg Meadhonach.

Tom climbing on Carn Dearg Meadhonach.

Bob, Linda and John on the CMD Arete.

Bob, Linda and John on the CMD Arete.

Lochaber Expedition

Approaching the East Ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach.

Approaching the East Ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach.

I have just returned from a two day expedition in the Lochaber area with the Falkirk High Tops Team. On Monday we used the Aonach Mor gondola to gain height before traversing round underneath the west face. The conditions on the west face of Aonach Mor looked excellent and safe in the avalanche condtions that we seen on Monday.

From here, we made the ascent of the East Ridge of Carn Dearg Meadhonach. The route was in perfect condition. After gaining the summit we traversed to the summit of Carn Dearg Mor before descending to the CIC Hut to overnight.

Yesterday, we had an early start to allow us to make use of the excellent weather forecast for the morning. After re-ascending to the summit of Carn Mor Dearg we traversed the CMD arête in perfect conditions to the summit of Ben Nevis. After spending time on the summit, the team and John descended to the Glen Nevis while I returned via the North Face car park to the Gondola station to retrieve the bus.

Conditions on the North Face of Ben Nevis look very serious at the moment. Careful route choice would be required for those choosing to climb there. Lots more photos can be seen on the ClimbNow facebook page.

A solo mountaineer on the CMD arête.

A solo mountaineer on the CMD arête.