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fultonville

[TR] Ben Nevis Scotland - Point 5 Gully 3/6/2013

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Trip: Ben Nevis Scotland - Point 5 Gully

 

Date: 3/6/2013

 

Trip Report:

When I first started climbing over 30 years ago in Idaho I tried to read as much as I could about the history of climbers and their climbs. One of those places I read about was Scotland, arguably the birthplace of modern ice climbing. Now I live in London and after 12 years I finally made it up to Scotland in the winter. The problem with learning to ice climb in the NW is you can almost always find the stuff. The problem with trying to alpine climb Scotland is if you guess it wrong you don't find ice but rain and really really strong winds. On March 6 2013 I got lucky. I found a good partner in the UK, Sam Read, who not only let me lead all the pitches but more importantly also drove (big result considering what side of the road they drive on). Eventually conditions looked like they'd hold for a while so we were off for the 9 hour drive from London.

 

First thing to get on? The famous Point 5 Gully on the north face of Ben Nevis. This bad boy was first climbed in the late 50's by hard men who chopped steps! Thank gawd for Nomics, front points and ice screws.

 

The walk in was a bit cloudy but for Scotland more than normal. walk_in_to_ben_nevis_6-03-13.jpg

Then there was the first sight of the route between clouds blowing in and out and the dot on the right above the arrow is a climber btw. pointing_at_point_5_gully.jpg

Looking up the second pitch. looking_up_2nd_pitch_point_5_gully.jpg

On lead in between the constant spindrift point_5.jpg

Catching a glimpse of my partner Sam below me. looking_down_4th_pitch_point_5_gully.jpg

The obligitory summit shot rime ice and all dave_and_sam_summit_shot_ben_nevis.jpg

 

Wasn't able to get out a second day due to 65mph winds! Now that I've been there all I can think about is getting back.

 

footnote: the Ben Nevis distillery is worth it for their award winning ten year old scotch!

 

Here's some other random shots taken. Hope it gives a feel for the place. This is the SMC climbers hut and you're not allowed in if you're not a member.smc_climbers_hut_ben_nevis.jpg

Here's the view from that hut.view_from_front_door_of_smc_hut.jpg

This is the Rogue pitch on Point Five Gully. rogue_pitch_on_point_5.jpg

 

Gear Notes:

Brought rock gear but there was so much ice on the route we only used 6 screws! Some fixed gear here and there so be on the look out. 60m twins were also nice to have.

 

Approach Notes:

Besides the obvious flights, drive and or trains one might use to get to Fort William the actual trail in to Ben Nevis is well maintained and with views to stir the blood. If you are put off by climbing in wind and spindrift, stay home. Also I recommend staying at a place in Fort William called Calluna run by Alan & Sue Kimber Tel: 01144 1397 700451

Edited by fultonville

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