Petestack Blog

2 April 2009

Tower Ridge

Filed under: Climbing — admin @ 10:12 am

Yesterday I climbed Tower Ridge on the Ben with Jamie Hageman after a ludicrously optimistic trip to the start of Point Five on the second or third day of a monumental thaw convinced us not to try that, and have to say we were thankful we’d left it when most of the routes we could see (and hear) spent the rest of the day falling down! So large chunks of Smith’s and the Indicator Wall routes were breaking off (it was raining ice down Observatory Gully) and at one stage we heard a stupendous crack from the opposite direction (somewhere over Coire na Ciste way).

Since my only previous ascent of Tower Ridge was when I took my cousin Donald up it in June 1991 (on which occasion we took in the Douglas Boulder by Left Hand Chimney), it was good to get a ‘winter’ (spring?) ascent at last even if the first half was largely rock climbing and the second a mixture of rock and soft snow. But this time (approaching after starting to descend from the base of Point Five and deciding that the ridge looked nice in the sun when we’d all but decided just to go home) we simply sneaked onto it by a right-trending ledge that landed us just above the Douglas Gap. Needless to say (?), that tempting sunshine slowly turned to the usual clag, but it was still a very satisfying day.

There were at least four (possibly five) pairs on Tower Ridge, and another on North East Buttress. Also saw (from the crest of Tower Ridge) some folk heading for the Ciste… no idea what they were planning, but Davy Virdee’s blog mentions ‘a brave team on Comb Gully’!

Think the Point should still come back in with a good freeze, but it’s really ridges/buttresses (with lots of bare rock lower down) only right now.

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