Saturday, 30 May 2015

A SNOWY BEN NEVIS

A very wintery looking north face
The team celebrating on the summit of The Ben
One of the quieter moments on the pony Track
Carn Dearg
Heres a friend we met
Summit plateau
Lee on the crux move to the top
A bit quieter on the descent, Mamores looking wintery too

Drooping cornices
Spot the celebrities, lovies
Summit sunshine
And we finished on a lovely song from the locals

Just by good luck we enjoyed the nicest day of the week for our day up on Ben Nevis. It was a cloudy morning but as forecasted the clouds lifted and broke up leaving a lovely afternoon with lots of sunshine. Today I was guiding a group of 6 folk from South Wales for Lakeland Mountain Guides. Many groups and individuals on the hill, some not quite equipped for the current conditions. Seemed like many were turning back this morning. We hit the snowline at bend 4 on the zig-zags. The path was well trodden and therefore the compacted snow was getting icy. I was more concerned about the poorly shod people sliding into my group so we cut up through the zig-zag paths and made our own tracks onto the plateau. If your navigation is not up to scratch the area around bends 6-7 is a very confusing area at the moment. The conditions we have look more like the end of March than the end of May! The trig point plinth at the summit is still completely buried. There are huge cornices and a lot of footprints all over the plateau. I took my team around the lip of the north face crags to give them the stupendous views of the snowy and icy north face.  We were rubbing shoulders with celebrities this morning, chatting to some of the panel on a TV show called 'Loose Women' who were out raising money for charity. My group were laughing has I only recognised one of them, such is my knowledge of celebretism! Great day out with fun group with lots of craic. Well done to all the team in the winter like conditions today. Some more wintry weather next few days then midweek onwards it will apparently be more like what June weather should be like.

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