Wednesday, 13 May 2015

North East Buttress

Summer?  Winter?
High up on NE Buttress
The last couple few days of wet and windy weather were perfectly timed as I needed a day of 'admin' and a day down at the Ice Factor to keep some strength up.
Today I was back to work and a great day for it (well it did improve when we summited).  I have been excited to get back onto Ben Nevis after the winter and see what is left over.  Alan and I headed up for a climb, we had a very open plan, we had a rack, a rope, 2 screws, 4 axes and crampons.  On arrival the ridges were looking promising and we opted for North East Buttress.  Alan and I did North East Buttress a couple of years ago in less than optimal conditions so it was great to see it in another light.  We took a slight deviation, we headed left below the man trap and found some nice scrambling to get around it before getting stuck into the 40ft corner which is just about clear of snow.  We had crampons on from just above the first platform all the way to the top.  A top day.  Many other teams out enjoying the spring time conditions.  Andy, Alison and James were out skiing, they skied Number 2,3 and 5.  Jonny Mc and his buddy did Tower Scoop and Tower Cascade's, they said Smiths was fat.  Point 5 looked complete as did Hadrian's and Indicator area.  Number 3 Gully looks like the best climbers descent but would need a wee abseil at the top.  Number 4 has a huge cornice but one could down climb on skiers left.

Alan swinging into good ice
Better conditions than last time!

Andy climbing up number 4 
Lovely day now
Alan loves a 'selfie'

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