Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Scottish Winter Conditions, Ben Nevis - The Ledge Route & No4 Gully - 15th March 2015.

How early do you have to get up to get to the Ben for this kind of weather?
0315, that's how early, but it was well worth it. Stunning alpine like conditions all day. The North Face car park was very busy, as was the Ben. We had thought about No 2 Gully, or even Reaburns Easy Route, but then decided The Ledge Route may not keep it's alpine character as long as the gullies would hold their snow, so The Ledge it was.
Always a brilliant at that grade (II) with stunning views across the North Face of Ben Nevis. It was still a bit chilly in the wind at the top, but we thought, well we're here now, we may aswell visit the summit. We passed a handy snow bollard at the top of No 4 Gully on the way up which we reckoned could be useful later. As it was, on our return, we saw a guide and her client abseiling off it, so we promptly followed.
The gully seemed to get steeper lower down after the turn and a little down climbing was needed. After that it was an atmospheric walk past the well hidden (by snow) lochans and down to the CIC Hut.
The coire was echoing with various calls from different teams climbing almost everywhere (except the major gullies which had massive cornices).      

No 5 Gully.

Ian and Willy on the first ramp.

Willy high up on The Ledge Route.

Snow arete up to Carn Dearg. 

Heading up to the summit of the Ben.

The Ledge Route as seen from the summit.  

Spot the climbers in Tower Gap. 

Climber about to top out.

Our trusty snow bollard.

Off the edge of No 4 Gully.

A very easy abseil really. 

Me and Willy below the huge (thankfully very frozen) cornices in No 4 Gully. 

Descending Coire na Ciste. 

The Douglas Boulder and lower section of Tower Ridge. 

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