Thursday, 13 January 2011

A soggy Ben Nevis

Enjoying the comforts of the CIC Hut patio!

After a good session on the ice wall at the Ice Factor yesterday, we went looking for ice despite the continuing thaw. We headed up a very icy path to Ben Nevis to have a look at the CIC Cascades and the Gulch which were both reported to still be in existence. Both were still hanging in just so we made a very soggy ascent of the Gulch at about grade II / III.

The remaining snow pack was heavily saturated and it looked like there had been some avalanche activity in Coire na Ciste and a the foot of Number 5 Gully. There were a couple of other teams in the Gulch, climbers on the right hand CIC Cascade and we bumped in to a lad who'd post-holed round the CMD Arete. Several of the river crossings were treacherous with weak snow bridges over fast flowing water and despite temperatures of 8 oC at sea level today the track to the North Face car park is still sheet ice.

A pitch of soggy ice in the Gulch.

Sarah exiting through a shower.

Gareth on the final moves

Gareth & Sarah above the Gulch (II/III)

The CIC Cascades. The right hand fall was climbed today.