Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These Conditions Reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.

Friday, 14 August 2015

So that was the Ben Nevis North Face Survey 2015. About 24 people each day for five days, all experts in their field, working in small teams all over the North Face looking, learning and discovering new things about this amazing place. The more we learn about the details, the more we can appreciate the scale of the whole thing. The more we work together, the more we can share knowledge and passion for Ben Nevis.

Today I was with Cathy Mayne of SNH (who thought up the whole project) and Donald, Dave A, Alex and Alan. We went to Raeburn's Buttress which tops out near South Castle Gully. We abseiled down the very impressive line of The Great Corner in one 80m drop to explore the obvious lush ledges that you cross if you climb Compression Cracks in winter. These ledges are knee deep in Alpine Lady Fern, Rose Root, Lady's Mantle and Globe Flowers. We found quite a few Arctic Mouse Ear, Alpine Saw Wort and many other things.

Can you spot Donald?
We carried on down into SC Gully where there is a very impressive amount of snow still and managed to squeeze down the side of it into the Castle Coire and back to the CIC Hut. So after two weeks of surveying over two years we have covered a lot of ground. There are significant areas still to be looked at but we should get to these last places next year. Many thanks must go to Nevis Landscape Partnership and Heritage Lottery Fund, SNH and DMM. Thanks to my team of guides Donald King, Alan Halewood, Scott Kirkhope, Dave Buckett, Dave Anderson, Connor Holdsworth and Will Rowland along with base camp manager Ed Holt. Like most adventures, it was challenging, inspiring, hard work and rewarding.