Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ben Nevis, Skills refresh

Flanks of Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis 

Orion Face and Observatory Gully

The Curtain and mouth of Number 5 Gully

Perfecting crampon technique 
I headed up onto the Ben today with a team of three on a weeks mountaineering course and was also joined by Tom who is along to shadow the course. We headed out to refresh skills in  preparation for the week. The weather was set to be pretty wild although once up to the hut it was not to bad it was certainly warm with rain falling below the hut and the snowpack very soggy. There was though plenty of ice around which we used to practice steeper cramponing up around the Gulch and under North East Buttress. There where plenty of people in the Gulch climbing the ice which made it look like a very miniature Ouray there was also some very suspect ropes being set up for people to top rope. Try and imagine having the toprope set up at a climbing wall at one end of the wall and the climber taking the line at the other end of the wall ensuring that if they fall they will swing across the entire wall and take everyone off with them!
There where plenty of people out who where attending the Scottish Winter Climbing meet set up by Richard Bently which looks to have been a great success. I went along to join them for a meal last night in the Achintee barn and to go to the talk by Simon Richardson which was excellent and well worth seeing.
Today I was working for Alan Kimber, West Coast Mountain Guides