Saturday, 2 March 2013

01.03.13 - Indicator Wall V,4 Ben Nevis

After a Sucessful ascent of Point Five Gully V,5 on the 27th, I was keen to get on another grade V ice route on the Ben and Dave and I decided that Indicator Wall V,4 would fit the bill quite nicely.  After a leisurely 0730 start we made our way up to the CIC hut in good time and from there started the long slog up Observatory Gully, past a team on the first pitch of Zero Gully V,4 and a busy Point Five Gully with a team on the first pitch of Hadrians Wall Direct V,5.  After a wee while we found ourselves gearing up just to the right of  Tower Scoop III (looking in good nick and all signs of vomit from a party a few days ago, gone) and traversing the steep shelf at the base of Indicator Wall, to the first belay of the route of the same name.  After the usual belay faff and sorting the birds nest of woe that half ropes seem to always some how get themselves in, I headed off up the first pitch which started up a small groove turning into a steep ice chimney on good ice with good screws to the base of an ice bulge on the right, Dave lead up the ice bulge on the second pitch, which was again steep and quite exposed but again, great ice and good screws to the base of a snow slope above.  I then lead on much easier ground to the start of the right hand exit (IV,4) before Dave lead up the exit slope and past the cornice to utilise the summit trig point as the UK's highest belay.  Topping out AGAIN on a cloud free, sunshine drenched Ben Nevis summit.  After a spot of lunch we took a stroll down to the top of No3 Gully Buttress where Craig McDonald and Craig McKay had just also topped out. After some good use of a gorilla pod and a good photo of the 4 of us, we all headed down No4 Gully back to the CIC hut and then to the car.  Yet another great day, on a great route with great friends.  Life doesnt get any better than this!

party above us at the first belay on Indicator Wall V,4

Dave seconding the first pitch 

Dave Leads up and out of the exit gully

looking across to Tower Gap on Tower Ridge IV,3

UK's highest belay, round the summit trig point on Ben Nevis 
Dave and I after yet another great days climbing!

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