Due to its altitude, location and length of routes, the north face of Ben Nevis can be a serious undertaking. This in mind many of the classic routes are merely scrambles of Diff to VDiff standard so with a poor forecast we decided to give the most classic of all the classics a bash - Tower Ridge.
|A rather snowy approach.. considering its July!|
The weather was cold, wet and very misty! After running to the CIC hut we had a brief look at the map and plunged ourselves into the mist and launched up the hillside. Out of nowhere the way was barred by a huge rock wall of the Douglas Boulder. We tackled this round the side up a snow filled gully where we were squeezed between ice and the rock face we stopped the gully and started the route.
|Moving up the 'little tower' through the mist|
|Jed on the exposed traverse below the Great Tower|
|The steep and slippery chockstone chimney|
Several wet pitches on the steeper stuff and some moving together (and a quick chat with mountain rescue who were up there rescuing a stranded party) we eventually reached the (in)famous tower gap. This is a narrowing in the ridge and a awkward down climb just below the summit tower. Usually you'd be able to see a drop of hundreds of feet but instead today we had a apparently bottomless drop into a white nothingness, made all the more interesting with the film of water and grease on all the holds!
|A rather eairy tower gap below the final summit tower|
|Looking back of the corie after the descent, typically the weather has started to clear!|