Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis

I have been joined for a few days by regular client Mick who has an ambition to climb the Matterhorn this summer and and so wanted a bit of practice on mixed mountaineering routes here in Scotland. Tower Ridge gives over 1000m of climbing, gaining over 500m in height at grade IV, 3 and so is the an ideal training ground. We left the car at 8:30 and enjoyed an easy walk in with no snow underfoot and the pleasure of being first on the route. It was a bit claggy but as we gained height and reached the snow line we pulled out above the clouds to stunning blues skies and a wonderful cloud inversion. We climbed the whole route in crampons and above the little tower the snow was crisp neve, the Eastern Traverse was a joy and the rock above dry and almost warm! We toppe dout at 12:30 and after a lunch enjoying the brocken spectres and sea of cloud below us we headed down number 4 gully where Mick arranged an abseil for us on the upper section. Here the snow was soft and granular, not the neve we had enjoyed higher up, and we were back in the clag. A wonderful day in the mountains summed up by the photos and expressions on Micks face.

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