UPDATE July 2015: Ken and Hannah are now running Scottish walking, mountaineering and climbing courses for West Coast Mountain Guides.
When the weather is as good as it has been here in Lochaber over the past few days, I think that it’s one of the best places to be. The variety of activities that can be done is almost endless, mountain biking, river kayaking, sea kayaking, backcountry skiing, winter climbing, rock climbing, the list goes on…
I was back out on an alpine Ben Nevis with Paul today, who was happy to climb anything, more so as most of his trips over the past few winters have coincided with stormy conditions. Today things were very different. We walked in without a breath of wind and settled on the idea of an alpine ascent of Castle Ridge. A continuous line of snow gave us a nice easy approach to the foot of the ridge, from where we roped up. The rock was largely dry, however, there were still some sizeable, yet soft, patches of snow that were dripping onto some of the slabs higher up. That said, the route really was in summer ‘nick’ and with the snow being so soft, crampons weren’t required for the ascent. We did both use an axe though.
On topping out, we donned our crampons and made our way down the snow filled gully that runs parallel to the Red Burn and joins the mountain path slightly to the north.
Both Castle Gullies are still complete, with their respective chockstones still buried.