Thursday, 5 February 2009

Windy up on Ben Nevis

Today's original plan was to climb Point 5, but with the wind blowing all this fresh snow around, we knew that it would be like trying to climb up a waterfall (of spindrift). Jamie and I headed up to the CIC hut, passing a couple of parties who said it was too windy, and got a better look from there. We headed up to Thompsons Route. From this height we could see that lots of the mixed lines were very white and looking very tempting and the gully's were looking good, despite being quite loaded with snow. Very high winds meant constant flow of snow up my nose, down my jacket and making my eyelashes freeze together. I set of on Thompsons to find very soft snow/ice and nothing to get a good purchase on, I remember the first section being straight forward under previous conditions. After a while of scraping and almost drowning in spindrift, I down climbed and we escaped up Number 3 Gully and walked up to the summit and hid in the Shelter. The wind was blowing so much snow around both on the tops and on the cliffs. One team backed off Gargoyle Wall, think the went and climbed Number 3 Gully Buttress, one team on SW Ridge of Douglas Boulder (good option when there are high winds), also Alan Kimber was on Ledge Route. Anyone pick up some BD trekking poles from the CIC hut, by the gas bottles? If so please get in touch with me or Ken Applegate from OB. Cheers

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