Charlie and I headed up onto the Ben this morning with an open mind after the big storms. We headed to the SW Ridge of the Douglas Boulder but it was totally buried in fresh snow. All of the snow we encountered had gone through an initial melt and re-freeze giving a breakable crust. Whilst this helps with stability it made for epic wading to get to the routes! We descended off the SW Ridge and plan B was Fawlty Towers but this was also unclimbable as the snow was just too deep and the crust too thin! I hoped a change of aspect would help so we headed round to the East side of Tower Ridge and gratefully followed the footsteps of a team ahead of us. We climbed the East Gully to Douglas gap with Charlie brushing up on his rope work ready for his winter ML assessment later this winter. We looked at methods of descent and Charlie organised an abseil off as the sky changed colour above us to give some of the beautiful light that is so amazing at this time of year. A good physical day out!