Stunning day on the Ben with Spike taking one of our Swiss clients over Tower Ridge. Warm, dry rock with light winds made a memorable day. Hopefully this is the start of a fantastic Summer after an awesome and very long Winter. Don’t forget to watch out for the snow patches that are still lingering on some of the classic higher Ben rock climbs – Tower Gully was skied yesterday still on great spring snow!
Archive for the ‘Ben Nevis’ Category
Still wintry up north folks.
Best wishes in your retirement – which will probably be spent in the mountains somewhere warm.
I made three trips up to the Fort with west coast mountain guides – one with Dave Hormigo and two with Adam Hughes. Accompanied by my good friend Dave Windle I have fond memories that will last until my brain turns to mush; in particular, having you bash ice off my crampons whilst you filmed Tamsin on the second pitch of Orion Direct. It’s the sort of service I expect from my guides !
I’m assuming that Sir Alex read of your stepping down and was left to ponder his own future.
Thanks John. It’s not retirement, just a reduction in workload. As with Sir Alex, I’ll be doing bits and bobs in the background. I aim to continue in the ‘board-room’ (Nevis) for a few years yet. I know that Bruce Poll will continue the good service and might add a few new players to the squad. He will certainly be better on skis than I have ever been!
“I can hardly believe I’m in the UK, looking out at this mountain scene said Padraic, so alpine”. “Don’t worry Padraic, in a couple of years you might not be in the UK!” Anyway, with a sense of common enthusiasm, united in our task of being together with an identical objective, we set off from the CIC Hut towards Orion Face under an early morning clear sky and no wind. Two men from different countries acting as one!
Orion Face is not the hardest of the classic grade V’s on Nevis, far from it. However it is the most sustained. Point Five Gully, Zero Gully, Smith’s Route are all steeper in places, but do not have the commitment and length of Orion Face.
Many thanks for your blog this year – equal parts inspiration and information! Will it continue when you hand over the reins? Just a quick update on Ben Nevis conditions. On Saturday we climbed Hadrian’s Wall – other teams were on Slav Route, Smith-Holt Route, Orion Direct and Point5. Conditions couldn’t have been better for us but those on the lower sections of the Orion Face struggled to find good ice.Lots of new snow made NE Buttress and Tower Ridge very slow going. Image below is taken of Jason approaching the gully on the 3rd Pitch of Hadrian’s – lots of ice!
All the best
When Bruce Poll takes over fully we will both continue with a blog. Mine will be mostly Scottish and Bruce will insert Scottish and Alpine in equal measure I’m sure. I’m still very keen to enhance the blogosphere and share my interest in photography. I will have a small website, but more of that later.
I’ve attached a couple of pics from today (27th April). We did Thompson’s Route which was good, involved a bit trail breaking to get there. On the route there was some excellent older neve and also cruddy snow covering a lot of the rock which was a bit of a pain when it was mistaken for the good stuff. A few big cornices around the tops and bits of ice and snow falling of any aspects that see the sun and even some that don’t.
cheers for now,
Be careful at the tops of gullies this weekend folks. Number Four Gully went today on a new snow layer. Similar, harder layers were found in cornice locations elsewhere. Good weather tomorrow but more wintry storms arriving next week. Anyone fancy a climb?
It was a shame to not get out with Spike on Sunday but I did mange to follow your footsteps up the point on 8th April. A great day out but with a bit more “typical” conditions than it looked like you had. Would also like to post if anyone found a screw on the main path down after the zig-zags then it would be gratefully received back again!
Yesterday on Ben Nevis and in Glen Coe. The first heavy rain in almost two months came in last night, but still plenty of snow and ice on the high tops and the forecast suggests more snow heading in on westerly and north-westerly winds. Winter still has legs up north!
We have some storms approaching over the weekend, but they look as though they will dump snow on the high ground as the systems move through. Winter will persist on Ben Nevis for a while longer. Yesterday Scott Kirkhope sents these photo in from a CMD traverse.