All the essential kit required for an overnight camp on the summit of Ben Nevis!
Jon and Willy, on the track up to the top, North Face car park. Once we'd crossed the Alt a Mhuilin by the wier, we headed crfoss country to the Half Way Lochan.
Stunning views on the way up, especially over to the Ring of Steal. Note the arrows on the path. These were for the folks taking part in the Rat Race.
Usual messy snow to cross near and around Gardyloo Gully and the summit.
On a brighter note, we watched a team of three cross Tower Gap on Tower Ridge: though they did seem to take an interesting line on the exit side of the gap!
Climbers in Tower Gap. Note the sloping ramp on the left of the gap: the route they took.
Occaisionally, runners from the Rat Race would arrive at the manned checkpoint at the summit cairn, but eventually, the place quietened down, so I went for a wander over to the North East Buttress end of the plateau.
Looking back over the North Face from somewhere near the top of Observatory Ridge.
Hardly any snow left on the CMD Arete, as seen from the top of the North East Buttress.
As the crowds disappeared, and the temperature dropped a little, we got a brief glimpse of a sunset in the distance. The clouds soon cam in though and we were once again alone in the mist. Apart from the guy at the checkpoint, who left at 11pm.
A rope would've made all the difference in confidence. Once over the difficulties, it would've been straightforward down climbing until the angle eased off. It looked like I wasn't going to use my new DMM Raptors this time around?
The only remaining option was to bumslide the Red Burn, which still complete to just above the waterfall on the bend.
All good fun and much quicker than going down the zig zags.
The last part of the Red Burn down to the waterfall. Always entertaining sliding past the zig zags as peaople slog up, or down the path.