Thursday, 8 January 2015

Green Gully

Nick on the first pitch
Nick on the second pitch

Day 4 with Nick and we knew Ben Nevis would be a reliable option.  What exactly we would do was anyone's guess but I had a few ideas up my sleeve and we just needed to get into the mountain to have a look.  We wandered up into the Ciste as I felt there were lots of options to go for.  Word on the street was that Mike had climbed The Cascade 2 days ago, Al and Jamie reported bad conditions on Green Gully and Adam had success on Number 3 Gully Buttress.  Yesterdays thaw was nasty but today's cold temps were great.  I believed Green would be climbable, it had to be.  It was.  The first pitch was a little thin but had a succession of bomber blobs which aloud us to pick our way up.  From the top of the first pitch I could see it looked good.  I shouted to Nick "We're on!".  "Sweet!" he yelled back.  And it was sweet!  The ice was lovely all the way up.  Screws were saved for higher up the route as the ice got even better and various options were available at the top.  Despite getting a good flow of spindrift all day, the plateau didn't feel too windy.  Despite this, I fancied a look down Number 3 Gully and too seek out more shelter.  It looked ok, we could pick our way down avoiding any wind slab accumulations.  I belayed Nick down 50m into the gully before climbing down and we had a nice soft walk down spotting climbers on Thompson's Route and evidence of folk on Number 3 Gully Buttress.  A wild day but great fun and great conditions.  Tomorrow however.....??
Nick in the top basin

White out whilst descending from Number 3 Gully

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