Monday, 3 December 2012

28.11.12 - Tower Ridge, Ben Nevis

On an early, cold morning the starship USS Focus pulled up at the top car park at in the Allt a Mhuilinn. Feeling considerably smug having bypassed the god awful walk up from Torlundy we quickly made progress up the path to the CIC hut.  We had decided to climb up the Douglas Gap East Gully and from there, up the Douglas Gap to gain the ridge proper.  This initial climb was a good indication of things to come, iced and snowed up rock in which most situations a hand was as good as an axe! We had made slow progress throughout the day and eventually reached the eastern traverse.  A banked out, sugary traverse on disintegrating footholds far above tower gully made the sphincter twitch a few times before completing the ordeal and moving up through the tunnel to a solid thread belay on a chock stone.  After some good leading by Dave we gained the great tower just as light faded and now faced Tower Gap in the dark.  As you can imagine, given the overall condition of the route, this made for slow progress as all four of us one at a time crossed the gap.  Once the gap was out of the way, a collective sigh of relief was heard from the entire group, now making good progress up the easy exit slopes and the only neve snow we found on the entire 600m route was on the final 15m exit chimney!  a quick group photo and a snickers before we all headed down the zig zags and back to the car.  What a cracking day out with Dave, Kev and Craig, Cheers lads!

Morning Light behind the first platform on NE Buttress

Gearing up with Dave, Kev and Craig

Kev and Dave having just completed the Eastern Traverse 

Myself about mid way on the Eastern Traverse

Kev, enjoying a bomber spike belay!

Cracking photo by Craig of us approaching Tower Gap

Topped out! , 

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