Curved Ridge on Buachaille Etive Mor is well sheltered from a strong SW wind so it made a good choice for Paul, Will and me today. Everywhere else seemed to get quite breezy today and progressively more and more soggy. It is also a great climb for coaching leading in winter and making choices and transitions between pitched climbing and moving together. Will and Paul swung leads to practice both at the sharp end.
The ground was covered an a few centimetres of fresh snow down to 700m and the old snow was reasonably firm. As the temperature rose wet sloughs started to come down the gullies so we were glad to be on a ridge. We stayed well to the left edge of Crowberry Basin and to the right of the snow at the top of the ridge. However there were not so many areas of deep deposit of soft snow.
Other teams climbed D Gully Buttress and Crowberry Gully looks very well filled in. Elsewhere, the soft snow under NC Gully stopped Louisa, Adam and Susie getting on to Raeburn's (Central) Buttress on Stob Coire nan Lochan so the went to climb Dorsal Arete instead. On Ben Nevis it seems like very few people did what they planned to do before running down "like rats from a sinking ship". Ali, Greig and Charlotte managed to traverse Douglas Gap and others were on Douglas Boulder SW Ridge.
Big thaw tomorrow with heavy rain to the summits to make the drips and dribbles run again to form more ice when it re-freezes on Thursday and through the weekend.