Thursday, 21 January 2010

More Ice on the Ben

A brisk walk up to the CIC Hut beneath the Ben bought plenty of ice into view. There were some big sheets in the gully below the normal approach to Coire Na Ciste which were busy with climbers sheltering from the strong south easterly which was sweeping down the glen. We opted to head to the slabs below the main fall of the CIC Cascade. This gave us plenty of ice at around II/III and even a short mixed pitch of III which contained plenty of turf & ice which succumbed to a variety of hooks, torques and even a can opener.

The wind increased throughout the day laying down some significant wind slab in the hollows and behind boulders. One strong gust even picked up my half full rucksack and deposited it 60m down the crag! Today I was working for Adventure Peaks

The Ben track is clear and drivable in ordinary cars with just one icy corner to negotiate. On the mountain the existing snow pack is now very stable but the strong south easterly has bought in plenty of new windslab on northerly aspects. There were plenty of teams on the icy bulges low down plus teams on Fawlty Towers (II), Raeburn's Buttress (IV, 4) and the CIC Cascade (V) which is heavily featured and steep at the bottom.