It was a soggy start this morning with drizzle and some wind on the walk up to the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis. Jack, Jackie and I were passed by a few teams on the way back down already with reports of soft snow and black rocks. This is what we saw too but a carried on up to climb some (rather wet) ice under Douglas Gap West Gully before traversing the gap. We got a wee taste of ice climbing and another adventure which was rewarded with a brilliant clearing of the clouds as we left Douglas Gap.
Meanwhile Donald and Geaspar also stuck with it and they found fantastic ice in Green Gully. The best gamblers were the two guys on Sickle who emerged from the mist just above the crux. The bottom pitches are not formed so they must have traversed in from Hadrian's Wall Direct but it was a bold move to head up there this morning!
Once the clouds had cleared completely we could see there is an amazing amount of ice on the crags for this time of year and since it only started to snow properly less than four weeks ago. The thaw did not strip the rime from the rocks above 1200m.
Jackie, Jack and I descended Douglas Gap East Gully and walked out after four great days of climbing. Looking back up at the crags it is clear there is lots more to do!
Creag Coire na Ciste.
Walking out tired but happy.