Tuesday, 13 March 2012


Another temperature inversion, we hoped. Ciste Corrie
Barrie having a breather half way up No.4 Gully
The top of Number Four Gully
Barrie donning his shorts for the sunshine, out of the cloud inversion
The summit free of cloud, spot the climber at the top of Smith's Route
The wonders of an inversion
Tower Ridge
It was another day of low cloud and light winds and mild and with a forecast of a possible temperature inversion Barrie and I set off up onto the Ben. We headed up No.4 Gully and on the approach we could see the blue skies and sun trying to break through. Then it went dull again. It was relatively quiet up the gully which still has a steepish finish, normal for this time of year. Walking along the plateau it was surprising to see the amount of snow depletion since just a week ago, some of the Pony Track is now free of snow above 1250m. Then at last the sun was visible and we walked up the final 70m in blue skies and warm sun. The summit of Ben Nevis was the only piece of mountain above the sea of cloud. A beautiful scene. We descended down onto the Carn Mor Dearg arete, knowing we were going to be back into the dull and cold cloud, but far preferable than the dull Pony Track back to the car park. No views of the north face from Carn Mor Dearg but a grand day out all the same. I was just thinking back two winters ago when I had a fantastic mid April day on the same route which was plastered in deep snow to 700m. 

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