Thursday, 12 January 2012

Smiths Route, Ben Nevis

There was a really good atmosphere up on Ben Nevis today, its always great when you see lots of people you know. Kenny, John and I headed up into Observatory gully with quite an open mind. Word had got round that some ice routes were quite fat. They were not wrong. There were several teams ahead and behind us, all heading up into the same area. At first it looked like 3 teams were heading for Smiths but fortunately they all went their separate ways. One them headed up Tower Gully (I), Luke and Conrad went up Indicator Wall (V,4) (reporting back good conditions, a little bit wet though) and the the other team joined the queue on Good Friday climb. Steve and Gill went and joined the queue on Tower Scoop and Matt and Emma followed us up Smiths Route (V,5). It was the Icicle variation which looked best today, which was great because I hadn't done it before. After we topped out we headed down Tower Gully and had a team solo on the Upper Tower Cascades (something around grade III) we then headed along the top and abseiled into number 3 gully to check out some other routes. Johnny climbed Number 3 Gully buttress which he said was good, teams were on Green Gully also. Thompson's looked climbable to. All the buttresses were black.

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