Apr 07 05
I didn’t want to miss out on all this adventuring on the Ben, so lucky for me Jon was keen to make the trip up north again. We left Penrith by 5.30 on Wednesday evening and made it to Fort William by 10pm. After stopping at the BP garage for a quick cup of beige coloured water that was unsuccessfully pretending to be tea, we headed for the car park that would be our place of rest for the short night ahead.
|The alarm went off at 2.30am, but we hadn’t been asleep. I think I managed an hour, but Jon was convinced he hadn’t slept at all. Oh well, it was time to leave, and start that long trek up hill.
We made it to to CIC hut before 5am and headed towards Zero Gully, but we were put off by the continual falling of small and large lumps of ice. Perhaps this is how it always is, but the warm temperatures made us think it might just all fall down around us, so we opted for Smith’s Route after soloing Tower Scoop.
Jon led a great first pitch on thick ice that was dripping with water, and I finished with a 60m pitch to just below the cornice. We were first on top – well, it was only 9.50am!
We took the usual photos, but the clouds were coming in fast so we didn’t hang around for too long. It was a long way down, my feet hurt, and I was really looking forward to a decent cup of tea. We were in Nevis Sport café by 2pm. Lovely!
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