It’s been a great day on Ben Nevis today. Steve and I (Hannah) had an early start and beat the crowds to be the first on Orion Face Direct this morning. This is a climb I’ve had in my sights for a while and what a day to climb it on! The route was superb and on the whole really good for first time axe placements and the climbing felt steady and fun with the crux today being at the top of our second pitch where the ice reared back for a few moves. The traverse pitch (normally described as the crux) although thin and not particularly good enough for ice screws was pretty steady and didn’t present much of a problem to climb in it’s current condition. Gear wise – we didn’t find a whole heap of gear on each pitch with a mixture of good and cruddy ice screw placements but did find just enough to keep us happy.
Meanwhile, Ken and Mark walked in to the CIC Hut yesterday afternoon with Jeff, David, Mark and Neil who are on our first CIC Hut week of the season. After their first night in the cosy CIC Hut they too were out early to make the most of the day Mark climbed Minus 2 Gully finishing up NE Buttress with Mark and Neil and Ken was on the Little Brenva face where he and his team climbed the first pitch of Cresta Direct before moving onto Moonwalk to find some more steep ice with Jeff and David, they were in the sun for much of the day and described their situation as very Alpine. What a cracking first day for them!
Finally, Scott was also out today with Michael who was keen for a route on Ben Nevis too. They climbed a snowy Ledge Route and like all of us topped out in glorious sunshine with stunning views.