Ben Nevis 20-01-13

Not many out on the Ben today, few on Ledge route and down around the Douglas Boulder and Carn Dearg Cascades.  There were some pockets of slab about, notably there was a layer of dry powder between the slab and old snow below creating a very unstable combination.  That said, we went into Coire Ciste and climbed Green Gully and were able to complete the whole day without leaving good well frozen hard snow.  Green Gully itself was thin but good for the first pitch and after that was in great condition with good ice and well frozen snow all the way, all 3 exits looked good, we finished up the left on good ice.  Exit slopes were fine.  We descended the Redburn which was fast with snow all the way but had some pockets of slab to watch out for.  No.4 Gully had been used in descent today and looked OK, can’t say for sure though as we didn’t use it…  No.3 Gully Buttress looked good also and looked to have been climbed probably yesterday.

So it seems a lot of routes have been blown clean of powder and are fine but no doubt there will be pockets of significant wind-slab about to watch out for.

Coire Ciste

Green Gully IV / 4 ***