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.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Spring is very much in the air with lambs in the fields and flowers out in the glens. It feels like summer is just round the corner. However the top half of Ben Nevis needs to catch up; it is falling behind the seasons.

Emma and I walked up Ben nevis today on the first of our scheduled Ben Nevis group walks. We had crampons and ice axes and there was a fall of fresh snow on the summit from last night. Above corner one after crossing the Red Burn the patch is half covered in snow but you can manage to keep off most of it untill you reach 1000m. Above here the ground is nearly all covered with snow and the trail disappears. Half the cairns are covered too so navigation in the mist is tricky.

On the summit there is 2m depth of old compacted snow. The platform that the trig points stands on is totally covered so that just the trig point is visible. Cornices line the top of the North Face. Emma and I used crampons from 1100m to the summit and all the way back down to corner two. The snow is soft enough in the Red Burn for a great slide to make it easier on the legs in descent. All this snow could melt away given some warm and wet weather. There is none of this forecast though for a while yet.

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